October 18, 2017 / 2:15 PM / a month ago

Trump backs away from bipartisan Senate healthcare bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed away from a bipartisan deal on healthcare reached by two senators a day earlier, saying he could never support legislation “bailing out” insurance companies.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at his side in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

On Tuesday, Trump appeared to embrace the deal struck by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democratic Senator Patty Murray as “a short-term solution so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period,” apparently referring to possible premium spikes in the wake of his recent decision to cut off subsidy payments to insurance companies.

But in a tweet on Wednesday he took a different tack on the bill, which would continue the cost-sharing subsidies that lower premiums for lower-income Americans, writing: “I am supportive of Lamar as a person & also of the process, but I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O‘Care.”

Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Susan Heavey

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