Cassidy: Health Reform Still Has White House Interest

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Amid reports of a feud between President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, there is one U.S. Senator who seems in close reach with the White House, Louisiana's Bill Cassidy.

"My staff or I speak with the White House or the department of health and hospitals several times a week," Sen. Cassidy said.

The senator said in the hours before his speech Wednesday to the Baton Rouge rotary, he again discussed his Obamacare replacement plan with the Trump administration.

"During the campaign, [President Trump] said he wanted to continue coverage, get rid of the individual and employer mandates, lower premiums and care for those with pre-existing conditions," he told "I've taken that as President Trump's marching orders. That's what I'm trying to achieve."


He admits his legislation, which would offer block grants to the states, is a last resort, noting that senators failed to pass any proposals before the August recess.


"I think we're the last chance," he said. "We're trying to make that chance successful."

His effort comes as discord rises between the White House and Senate leadership. President Trump and McConnell have not spoken in weeks. McConnell, in private, has said after a summer of administrative infighting, he doubts whether Trump can save his presidency.

"It's hearsay," said Cassidy. "I don't know if it's true or not true."

The president's comments Tuesday in Phoenix, suggesting he would shut down the federal government if Congress fails to approve a border wall, sparked similar reserve from the senator.

"How much of that is just him making that point versus his actual goal, I don't know," he said.

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