WASHINGTON — In addition to disputes over costs and insurance rates for Americans, the health care debate also features the most public duel yet between President Trump and predecessor Barack Obama — including an argument over the use of the word "mean."
"Well, he (Obama) used my term, 'mean,'" Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday on Fox & Friends, adding that "I want to see a (health care) bill with heart."
Trump essentially confirmed that he previously denounced a House Republican health care as "mean," but said a Senate proposal on the floor is a better way to replace the existing Obamacare plan that he says is collapsing.
In a Facebook posting, Obama said Republican replacement health care plans "rushed through" the GOP-run House and Senate "would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it."
He added that "small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation."
The Republican Senate is pushing for a vote in the coming days on its health care plan. If it passes — and some GOP members are balking — it would have to be reconciled with the House bill.
The Trump-Obama debate is mirrored by lawmakers who took to the Sunday shows to discuss the health care imbroglio, including disputes within the Republican caucus.
Tom Price, Trump's secretary of Health and Human Services, told CNN's State of the Union that "our goal is to decrease premiums," though even a few Republicans have questioned whether this will happen under the proposed plans.