Price invites GOP foes of Obamacare overhaul to keep talking

A top Trump administration official leading the Obamacare overhaul on Sunday sought to placate members of his own party in the Senate who are opposing legislation unveiled last week.

Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, said on "Fox News Sunday" that President Donald Trump and others are talking with the five Senate Republicans who have said they do not support the Senate version of a Obamacare overhaul. They are Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Dean Heller (Nev.).

Those senators have said “we want to be able to support this bill,” Price said about conversations with the five holdouts.

Responding to a question about Heller’s opposition over concerns about Medicaid, Price said, “Medicaid isn’t the only vehicle to be able to purchase coverage or to be able to have coverage.” And to Paul, Price said that Obamacare’s “penalties go away” in the Senate legislation. “There are 6.5 million folks who are paying $3 billion for the privilege of not purchasing that coverage,” said Price.

“What we’re trying to do here, admittedly, is to thread a needle to make it so that, as the president says, every single American needs to be able to have access to the kind of coverage that they want,” Price said, adding that conversations with Republican holdouts are ongoing.

“That’s the nature of the legislative process and that’s what we’ll be working through this week.”

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