The chief executive officer of conservative Heritage Action for America is rejecting President Trump's assertion that the House Republican healthcare bill is "mean."

"The House-passed American Health Care Act would be an important step forward in taking power away from indifferent federal bureaucrats and giving states the opportunity to truly experiment in how they insure older and sicker patients," Michael Needham wrote in late Thursday op-ed for the Washington Post.

Needham's op-ed is a response to comments that Trump reportedly made to Republican senators at a dinner on Tuesday that the AHCA is "mean" and that "we need to be more generous." He said the bill winding its way through Congress would be more compassionate because it would create local control, and move away from federal mandates.

"[T]he House-passed American Health Care Act was a step forward," Needham wrote. "And its most important insight — that true compassion lies not in Washington, but across this country in local communities where neighbors know and care for each other — should be the central insight the Republican Party brings to all future debates."

Needham said the Senate should keep language in the House healthcare bill that offers states the flexibility to withdraw from Obamacare, and "must maintain the significant entitlement reforms made in the House bill to Medicaid," which he said makes sure that people who most need assistance from Medicaid receive it.

This story was corrected to take out a paragraph that said Needham said Senate rules prevent the removal of all Obamacare taxes.