Trump, GOP lawmakers talk replacing Obamacare

One proposal relies on refundable tax credits to aid those not on employer plan

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNN) – On Wednesday night, President Trump attempted to sell lawmakers on his healthcare plan. He said, “Action is not a choice. It is a necessity. So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.”

Congressional leaders huddled with the president Wednesday to chart a path forward on the law, hoping to seize on the momentum of Trump’s big night

This as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price started meeting with wary house conservatives to assuage concerns. But many of those same conservatives are still held up on the republican leadership path forward, disputing that Trump did anything like endorse their plan last night

Sen. Ted Cruz said, “Well, the president was not laying out a piece of legislation, he was laying out the principles for reform and it’s going to be up to congress to work out the details and I think we can get it done.”

But GOP leaders say that’s exactly what the president did. House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “I thought it was a home run. He articulated exactly the response that we’re working on that we all believe is necessary to repeal and replace Obamacare with a much better system.”

And with these words, “through the use of tax credits,” Trump appeared to endorse one of the most contentious aspects of Ryan’s plan.

Trump’s outline is a long way from his January pledge of “insurance for everybody,” and a more detailed view than even just a few days earlier.

Two top committee chairs, Kevin Brady and Greg Walden, made the trek across the capitol to sell their path forward to the senate. The proposal repeals the individual mandate, and puts an emphasis on health savings accounts and financing for expanded high risk pools.

It also relies on refundable tax credits to aid those not on employer plans, and reforms Medicaid. Those two issues remain the thorniest for the moment, and house GOP aides have said that Trump’s influence on those specifics won’t just be welcome, but exceedingly necessary in the weeks ahead.