Report: Donald Trump Backs Bipartisan Obamacare Deal to Bolster Tax Reform Support

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he meets with county sheriffs during a listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. The Trump administration will return to court Tuesday to argue it has broad authority over national security and …
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican senators on Tuesday that he supports the Alexander-Murray bipartisan stabilization bill, which may help bolster support for the tax reform vote later this week.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) revealed that Trump told GOP senators, “I support the Alexander-Murray bill.”

Rounds added, “He actually made it very clear that he supported the Alexander-Murray bill. He sees it as a transition away from Obamacare.”

The Alexander-Murray bill, sponsored by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Patty Murray (D-WA), will fund two years of Obamacare subsidies known as the cost-sharing reduction program.

Health insurance companies argue that they need the subsidies to reduce health care costs. In exchange, the bill will increase waivers, allowing states to amend some Obamacare insurance regulations and allowing state health insurers to offer more low-cost health plans.

Sen. Alexander said he was “delighted” that the president did not put any conditions on his support for the Alexander-Murray bill.

Trump’s approval of the Alexander-Murray bill could help gather reluctant senators’ support for the tax reform vote later this week. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have yet to say whether they would vote for the tax reform legislation otherwise known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate.

President Trump previously said he opposes the Alexander-Murray bill because he can never support bailing out insurance companies. Trump tweeted in October, “I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care.”

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