Top White House aide: Trump opposed to bipartisan health care deal

Can Alexander/Murray health care deal pass?
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    Can Alexander/Murray health care deal pass?


Can Alexander/Murray health care deal pass? 05:47

Story highlights

  • Short clarified that the White House did not support the bipartisan agreement as outlined
  • He said they were sending a list of White House principles, including the repeal of the individual mandate

Washington (CNN)White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said Thursday that President Donald Trump needs significant changes to a bipartisan deal on health care and does not support it as outlined.

"He does not support a bailout to the insurance companies," Short said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
Short said repeatedly the President "appreciates" the efforts of Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, who brokered an agreement that would guarantee cost-sharing reduction payments and allow states more flexibility on Obamacare.
    The bill unveiled this week quickly gained the support of many on both sides of the aisle, but Trump himself has given a mixed response to the legislation.
    Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he supported the effort but could never support "bailing out" insurance companies.
    Some critics of the payments, geared to help lower income people access care, have dubbed them insurance company "bailouts," and last week, the Trump administration announced it would end the payments.
    In the interview Thursday, Short challenged the value of the payments and suggested they had not helped lower costs of insurance, noting an increase in premiums for many and stock increases for some insurance companies.
    The payments reimburse insurers for reducing the deductibles and co-pays of lower-income Obamacare enrollees. Many insurers hiked their premiums for 2018 in anticipation of Trump ending the funding for these cost-sharing subsidies.
    Short said the White House is sending its principles for health care to Alexander and Murray.
    "If they haven't received it yet, they will by tomorrow for sure," Short said, adding the administration will "probably" make its demands public.
    Asked about the demands, Short outlined significant steps that would mean a repeal of key pillars of Obamacare, like the rule requiring everyone to obtain insurance or pay a fee.
    "The gist is we believe that the individual mandate should be repealed, the employer mandate repealed and allow Americans to contribute to health savings accounts," Short said.
    He said the President sincerely wants to get a deal done on health care, however.
    "It's just not there yet," Short said.