Congressman describes key health care meeting with President

McCarthy: We have enough health care votes
McCarthy: We have enough health care votes

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Story highlights

  • President Donald Trump met with GOP Reps. Michael Burgess, Greg Walden, Fred Upton and Billy Long on Wednesday
  • Rep. Burgess: 'I don't think leadership would bring this forward if they were not certain of success'

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump seemed frustrated going into Wednesday's meeting with GOP lawmakers to discuss the new health care bill, Rep. Michael Burgess said.

"I will be honest with you, the President said we were through adding amendments, I'm sure he is as frustrated as many of us are," the Texas Republican -- who met with Trump alongside Reps. Greg Walden, Fred Upton and Billy Long -- said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
Burgess suggested Trump's frustration stemmed from the Republican Party's previous failed attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare. Now, conservatives are struggling to get many party members on board for the new GOP health care bill, which would eliminate Obamacare taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others, and get rid of the individual mandate imposed by Obamacare.
Republicans -- including Vice President Mike Pence -- have spent several days attempting to secure the votes they need to pass the bill. Upton and Long flipped their votes from "no" to "yes" after meeting with Trump, moving the GOP closer to achieving its goal.
"(Trump) listened to what the members brought to him," Burgess said. The meeting at the Oval Office lasted a "long time," Burgess said, estimating it was "about an hour's visit."
The change of heart from the lawmakers came after Trump committed to backing an amendment, which would pledge $8 billion over five years to fund high-risk pools and go toward patients with pre-existing conditions.
"He agreed with them (Upton and Long) that protection was good philosophical approach," Burgess said. "Eight billion over the next five years ... this is felt to be adequate protection."
The House plans to vote Thursday on the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.