Trump on Bipartisan Health Care Deal: I ‘Can Never’ Support Bailing Out Insurance Companies That Profited From Obamacare

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) listens to testimony from Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, during her confirmation hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is “supportive of” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) as a person and for the role he played in reaching a bipartisan health care deal, but added that he does not support the agreement because it “bails out” insurance companies that profited from Obamacare.

Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) announced a bipartisan health care deal on Tuesday that would help fund a key insurance subsidy program and provide states the flexibility to bypass some requirements of Obamacare, Politico reported.

The deal would include funding through 2019 for Obamacare’s cost-sharing program, which President Donald Trump cut last week. It would allow states to use existing Obamacare waivers to approve insurance plans with “comparable affordability” to Obamacare plans, Alexander said. But it would notably not allow states to duck the law’s minimum requirements for what a health insurance plan must cover.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he does not back the deal, though he said he does support the process to find a short-term deal on Obamacare that could lead to a longer-term plan.

“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,” Trump wrote.

Alexander sat down with Axios co-founder Mike Allen on Wednesday after he got off the phone with Trump, who called the senator to encourage him about the bipartisan health care bill. Alexander said that Trump told him that he wants to review the plan carefully but will support the bipartisan measure in the short-term.

“Trump completely engineered the plan that we announced yesterday,” Alexander said. “He wanted a bipartisan bill for the short term.”

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