President Trump met with approximately a dozen health care executives (list to follow, when provided by the WH) in the Roosevelt Room at the White House this morning.
The president entered the room at 1103 and sat in the center of the table across from Vice President Pence. (Photo to follow)
He spoke for about 5 minutes about the importance of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and then asked those around the table to introduce themselves.
(His response to the shouted question about Russia and the idea of a special prosecutor are covered in previous reports).
Among his notable remarks:
"You are the big ones. You are the biggest of the big, right?" (referring to the execs around the table)
"Obamacare has been a disaster, and it's only getting worse."
"The chaos that Obamacare has created and for which congressional Democrats – and you see that -- are alone responsible for requires swift action. I actually told the Republicans that if we did nothing, just did nothing for a two-year period, let Obamacare totally implode, which it's doing right now anyway, that would be from a political standpoint the best thing we could do."
"Once we start doing it, we sort of inherit the problem, we take over the problem. It becomes ours. But it's the right thing to do for the American people. I think allowing this to go on, this disaster to go on, is a mistake."
"The new plan will be a great plan for the patients, for the people, and hopefully for the companies. It's going to be a very competitive plan. And costs will come down and (inaudible) to health care will go up very, very substantially. I think people are going to like it a lot."
Trump also poked fun of Democrats' call to "resist," and said all they do is obstruct and resist, and said he may have given them a new slogan, "obstruct and resist," and that he should brand it.
At 1113 the pool was ushered from the room, at which point the question and answer about Russia and the special prosecutor took place.