Senator Says Trump Called Him On Health Deal

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., left, accompanied by Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., right, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, after he and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., say they have the “basic outlines” of a bipartisan deal to resume payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump and health care legislation (all times local):

9:06 a.m.

Sen. Lamar Alexander says President Donald Trump called him Wednesday morning “to be encouraging” of bipartisan efforts to come up with a plan to stabilize health insurance premiums after Trump stopped them.

Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, announced Tuesday they had reached a deal to resume federal payments to health insurers that Trump had halted. Insurers had warned that unless the money was quickly restored, premiums would go up and prompt some carriers to abandon unprofitable markets.

Trump had spoken favorably of the deal Tuesday but then later in the day reversed course.

Alexander said Wednesday that Trump “wanted to be encouraging” in the Wednesday phone call and is still reviewing the bipartisan deal. Alexander said “I think he wants to reserve his options.”

Alexander predicts his deal will pass “in one form or another” by years end.

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3:52 a.m.

A bipartisan Senate deal to curb the growth of health insurance premiums is reeling after President Donald Trump reversed course and opposed the agreement and top congressional Republicans and conservatives gave it a frosty reception.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, and Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington state, announced their accord Tuesday after weeks of negotiations and five days after Trump said he was halting federal subsidies to insurers.

Under the lawmakers’ agreement, the payments would continue for two years while states were given more leeway to let insurers sidestep some coverage requirements imposed by President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Oct 18 9:22 AM EDT AP

 
 

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