A group of 13 senators is working in secret to design their response to the House Republicans' bill, which was passed last month without a single Democratic vote.
Republicans say they embrace the notion of "patient-centered care" - health care that serves the values and needs of the patient - but their leaders' refusal to meet with groups dedicated to advocating for patients, belies that claim.
"They're ashamed of the bill", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on June 12.
"That will positively impact the coverage and care of millions of Americans, including many who are dealing with mental illness, chronic health problems, and drug addiction", the letter states. Moderate GOP senators have been pushing to ease those efforts.
Hoping to doom the GOP effort, a consumer health group said Sunday it was launching a $1.5 million campaign aimed at pressuring five Republican senators in the closely divided chamber to vote against the bill.
"This is much, much better for higher education than some of the drastic cuts that were floated out in the past", House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal a closed-door conversation. The governors say the House bill "calls into question coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out".
"We'll let you see the bill when we finally release it", he said.
Two other congressional GOP officials confirmed that the general descriptions of Trump's words were accurate.
Said Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat: "The president had a celebration when the bill passed".
West Virginia's House on Friday affirmed its support for more limited tax changes than the Senate had passed, continuing their impasse on any tax changes. Republican leadership have said they will vote on the bill once they are sure they have the 50 votes they need.
The measure's final version reflected a compromise by conservative leader Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and centrist Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J. Activists must understand that they have less time to save the Affordable Care Act than they might think.
Several of the senators being targeted have expressed some concern about the evolving Senate legislation or its process.
To which we reply: Look, you've been dealing with this issue for seven years. "Many of you are here because you pledged to cast this vote".
MacArthur's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump's description of the bill MacArthur helped resuscitate.
The lack of public debate appears to be a strategy by McConnell and his lieutenants to minimize opportunities for critical evaluation of their bill.
ADVERTISEMENTAsked if he would vote "no", Paul said: "What I'm telling them is if they get to an impasse, come talk to me, because I'm more than willing to vote for a partial repeal if I can't get complete repeal, but I'm not willing to vote for new Republican entitlement programs".