White House looks to woo Cruz on health care

GOP's health care bill: Winners and losers_00011420
GOP's health care bill: Winners and losers_00011420

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GOP's health care bill: Winners and losers 01:55

Story highlights

  • Trump and Cruz spoke by phone Tuesday
  • The Texas senator is expected to visit the White House later in the day

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump phoned Sen. Ted Cruz Tuesday to trade views on the White House-backed health care bill that the Texas conservative is increasingly criticizing.

The conversation, described as lengthy, is the latest outreach between two former Republican presidential rivals, according to Cruz spokesman Phil Novack. Cruz, who has a fraught personal history with the President, is expected to visit the White House later Tuesday to meet with senior administration aides.
Cruz, typically ideologically aligned with unsparing bill critics like Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee, has been more restrained in his judgment of the bill. Cruz, who has said the legislation does not do enough to repeal Obamacare, says the White House sees the bill crafted by House Republicans as merely a starting point.
But after the Congressional Budget Office released a score that showed premiums temporarily spiking, Cruz offered a more forceful critique of both the bill's impact and politics, saying he knew those in the House would be concerned about passing a bill doomed to fail in the Senate.
"The way to get to 'yes' is to pass legislation that honors our promise to repeal Obamacare and that drives down costs," Cruz told reporters Tuesday. "My biggest concern with the House bill is that it does not drive down health insurance premiums."
This story has been updated.