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Remarks at a Meeting on Health Care Reform With the Republican Study Committee

March 17, 2017

House Majority Whip Stephen J. Scalise. We appreciate President Trump having us into the Oval Office to talk about health care and the improvements that are being made. The President has worked and said, "Bring us your best ideas." And these are members of the Republican Study Committee who have brought those good ideas and worked in a very diligent way to ultimately get to a "yes" on this bill with the changes that the President has asked us to make that we're going to make in the bill. And with that, I want to lead it off to the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Mark Walker.

Republican Study Committee Chairman B. Mark Walker. Thank you, Mr. Whip. We're excited about today because it's historic knowing that we're getting a couple of very important things to the steering committee members: work requirements throughout the country, and also something what we call "block grants," which allows the States to be empowered. We believe they should be able to hold the reins when it comes to managing their population. We also think this would provide more coverage for the indigent, for those sick, and for those disabled.

So we're excited about it today, and that's why we've come today to celebrate the American Health Care Act and moving forward with a "yes."

Rep. Scalise. Hear, hear.

The President. I just want to say that these are folks that were either a "no" or a "maybe." And we had a nice meeting, and we've been talking all during the night. This didn't just happen over the last 20 minutes. This has been going all night long.

And we are doing some incredible things. I want everyone to know, I'm a hundred percent behind this. I want everybody to know that the press has not been speaking properly about how great this is going to be. They have not been giving it a fair press. The press is—well, as you know, in many cases, I call it the "fake news." It's fake news. This is going to be great for people. I watch—I say, that's not the bill we're passing.

And I also want everybody to know that all of these "noes," or potential "noes," are all "yeses." Every single person sitting in this room is now a "yes."

And we made certain changes, and very, frankly, little—although the block grant is very important, because I want the States to get the money and to run their program, if they want to run it, because they can do it better than the Federal Government. They're better equipped than the Federal Government.

I also want people to know that Obamacare is dead; it's a dead health care plan. It's not even a health care plan, frankly. And I watched the architect of the plan—yesterday I watched the old clip where he said the American people are stupid to have voted for it. I watched Bill Clinton saying, this is the craziest thing I've ever seen. [Laughter] And only because everyone knows it's on its last dying feet, the fake news is trying to say good things about it, okay? The fake media. And there is no good news about Obamacare. Obamacare is dead. And unless we gave it massive subsidies in a year from now or 6 months from now, it's not even going to be here. So when they say, "Oh, more people on the plan," there's not going to be any people on the plan.

I was in Tennessee—I was just telling the folks—and half of the State has no insurance company, and the other half is going to lose the insurance company. The people don't know what to do. It's a disaster. Obamacare is dead. Nothing to do with these people. Nothing to do with me. It's on respirator, and it's just about ready to implode.

Now, we could wait for 6 months or a year and let it happen. It's not the right thing to do for the people. This is a great plan. This is going to be fantastic. You're going to have bidding at the one level by insurance companies. And remember this, remember this: Those lines are going to come out. You're going to have bidding by insurance companies like you've never seen before. Plans are going to come out like nobody has ever seen before. Plans that nobody has even thought of now are going to be devised by insurance companies to take care of people.

And we're going to take care of people at all levels. So I just want to let the world know: I am 100 percent in favor. These folks—and they are tough, and they love their constituents, and they love this country. These folks were "noes." Mostly "noes" yesterday. And now every single one is a "yes." And I just want to thank you. We're going to have a health care plan that's going to be second to none. It's going to be great. And the people will see then.

By the way, it will take a little while, because before it all kicks in and welds together. It takes a little while. With Obamacare, it got worse and worse. Premiums went up 116 percent. They went up 58 percent. The Governor of Minnesota said that the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—is no longer affordable. That's what he said. The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable. And he's a guy that—he's a good Democrat; he wanted Obamacare. He said it's no longer affordable. Obamacare is not an alternative. It's not there. It's dead. It's dead.

So I just want to say thank you very much. I really appreciate it. A hundred percent of the "noes" are "yeses." And some of them were strong "noes." Some were just "noes." And we had a couple that were mixed. But I just want to thank you folks. And we're going to have a great, great health care plan. Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:12 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Jonathan H. Gruber, professor of economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; former President William J. Clinton; and Governor Mark B. Dayton of Minnesota. Participating in the meeting were Vice President Michael R. Pence; and Reps. Robert B. Aderholt, James E. Banks, Garland H. "Andy" Barr IV, Marsha Wedgeworth Blackburn, Blake Farenthold, Barry D. Loudermilk, Ludmya Bourdeau "Mia" Love, Patrick T. McHenry, Gary J. Palmer, John L. Ratcliffe, and Bruce E. Westerman.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Meeting on Health Care Reform With the Republican Study Committee Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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