"Ultimately", Sanders said, "we need to move to a Medicare for all system".
The above quote from syndicated radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh reflected his somewhat bemused appraisal of Senate Republicans' efforts to replace (or more accurately, repair) the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, with alternative (or more accurately, additional) legislation.
Enacting the legislation would cause the federal budget deficit to decrease by $473 billion from 2017 to 2026, the CBO reports.
That's one reason why presidents typically prefer to push their own agendas, rather than focus to the extent Trump has on uprooting their predecessors' actions. Insurance plans could cost about 50% more right after subsidies are eliminated and could double in 10 years, the CBO estimated.
Then came word that two Republican senators not at the dinner - Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas - had announced their opposition to the healthcare proposals put forward by party leaders in the Senate.
"Mitchcare collapses", read a statement by Ken Cuccinelli, who heads the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has clashed with McConnell.
Lawmakers are working behind-the-scenes to try to address some of the outstanding concerns, including those surrounding the proposed changes to the Medicaid program.
"I have every expectation that we'll be able to get on the bill", McConnell said, though he acknowledged having trouble finding the ample number of votes.
That's because it could lead to a bifurcated market, in which sick people gravitate to the more comprehensive plans and healthy people choose the skimpier coverage.
At that lunch, beneath the portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the White House's State Dining Room, Trump made clear he wanted the senators to go back to the drawing board before heading out on vacation in August.
"We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it", the President said. Or you can bash the independent experts who point out what your plan would actually do, like the Trump administration did when it denounced the Congressional Budget Office's allegedly inaccurate numbers without explaining what was supposed to be wrong with them.
But the plan to go for a delayed repeal also fell apart quickly, with Sens. Rand Paul said that he would vote to open debate if the repeal-only bill is called up for a vote as the first amendment.
Democrats were swift to highlight the CBO's assessment, while Republicans remained silent.
Senate Republicans on Thursday threw a curveball into the already complicated Obamacare repeal game when they introduced yet another amendment to their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. The Republican plans for healthcare also includes reductions in Medicaid that paid for healthcare for the disabled and the poor.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, President Donald Trump tweeted: "As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan".
After a pause for laughter, Trump continued: "Look, he wants to remain a senator doesn't he?" While those increases are largely fueled by the end of the mandate, the increase in premiums and the departure of insurers from the marketplace would also play a role in reducing coverage, the CBO said. They didn't mean make the blasted thing vanish; they meant get rid of the bad parts and keep the good ones (assuming any can be found).
When asked whether McConnell is experiencing "political whiplash" given Trump's comments on Wednesday, McConnell expressed confidence that there will be a vote next week on the motion to proceed on the health care bill.
President Jimmy Carter even borrowed the original Truman sign, displaying it on his Oval Office desk during an address to the nation on energy in 1979.