WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional efforts to overhaul health insurance (all times EDT):
House Republicans have pushed through a bill that seeks to ensure people in the country illegally cannot get tax credits to pay their health insurance premiums.
The bill requires agencies to verify an applicant’s Social Security number before the Treasury Department pays the tax credit to a health insurer.
The Verify First Act passed 238-184.
President Donald Trump supports the bill, with the White House saying it “stems the flow of payments to ineligible individuals under Obamacare.” Republicans also call the bill another step in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic lawmakers largely opposed the bill, arguing that not all individuals can obtain a Social Security number that can be verified at application time, including some lawfully present immigrants. They say gaps in coverage would result.
Congressional sources say President Donald Trump has told Republican senators that the House health care bill is “mean” and that the Senate version should be “more generous.”
The remarks were a surprising critique of a Republican-written House measure whose passage Trump fought for and embraced. They also seem to undercut efforts by Senate conservatives to impose restrictions in their chamber’s legislation, such as curbing the Medicaid health care program for the poor and limiting the services insurers must cover.
The sources say the president did not say what aspects of the bill he was characterizing.
Trump’s comments were described by people who received accounts of a White House lunch Trump had Tuesday with 15 GOP senators. They spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal a closed-door conversation.
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