WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite a major setback in the U.S. Senate, President Trump said on Wednesday that the Republican healthcare bill was moving along well and predicted a “surprise” was yet to come.
In a big hit to a seven-year quest to undo Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday abandoned plans to get the bill passed this week.
Trump, who met with Republican senators on Tuesday, made his optimistic comments to reporters at the White House on Wednesday while meeting with players from the World Series-winning Chicago Cubs.
“We’re going to have a great, great surprise,” he said.
Trump later said he did not think U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer was serious when asking for a meeting for all 100 U.S. senators to negotiate healthcare changes.
“I don’t think he’s serious. He hasn’t been serious. Obamacare is such a disaster. And he wants to try and save something that’s hurting a lot of people,” Trump said.
Trump promised as a presidential candidate to do away with Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Republicans would like to make progress on that issue to clear the way for other priorities such as tax reform.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Simao and Will Dunham)