President Donald Trump flip-flopped on a flip-flop Thursday afternoon, telling reporters he’s “open to” a bipartisan health care deal Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) struck earlier this week.
During a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday, Trump said that he wouldn’t sign the bill, and then said 11 minutes later it was a good solution, and then tweeted the next morning that he could “never support” it.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017
Then, Wednesday morning, he said Americans were “going to see the bipartisan” but that he wouldn’t do “anything to enrich insurance companies.” On Wednesday night, Trump reportedly called Alexander and encouraged him to move forward with health care talks.
Finally, on Thursday afternoon, he claimed, “I’m open to it.”
Trump told reporters Thursday that he “will probably like” the Alexander-Murray deal as a short-term solution but that “ultimately,” he wants to move to block grant health care to the states like the failed Graham-Cassidy bill would have.
Earlier in the week on Tuesday, Trump had mentioned somewhat incoherently that his health plan would be like the plan proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) that failed to garner enough votes to pass the Senate last month.
“We feel we have the votes, and as soon as we’re finished with taxes, John, we really feel we have the votes to get block grants into the states where the states can much better manage this money and much better take care of the people, rather than the federal government,” Trump said during a press conference that day. “The state block grants — we’ll do massive block grants into the various states so that the states can run the program.”
A reporter asked whether that meant Graham-Cassidy was still the plan, and Trump said “essentially.”
It’s worth noting that analyses of the Graham-Cassidy bill found that every state would suffer under the $4 trillion cuts to federal health care funding over the next two decades and that 32 million people could lose their health insurance by 2027, a far cry from Trump’s campaign promises of better, cheaper health care for all.
Sen Murray lists the 12 Dem cosponsors of the health care deal:
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 19, 2017
The Alexander-Murray deal over which Trump has flipped and flopped and re-flipped has 24 co-sponsors in the Senate, including 12 Democrats and 12 Republicans, Alexander announced Thursday.
The deal would appropriate funding for vital Obamacare subsidies that the White House announced last week they were going to stop paying. It would also restore funding for ACA enrollment advertising and establish some measure of flexibility for states looking to obtain waivers that allow them to waive certain requirements of the law.
Senate leadership has not yet agreed to a vote on the bipartisan deal.