Trump says no Obamacare vote until after 2020 election

By | April 2, 2019

President Trump says Congress won’t vote on an Obamacare replacement after the 2020 election, pushing an issue which has surged back into the forefront and that Democrats were eager to make a campaign issue into the distant future.

Even as he punted in the short term, Trump predicted that making next year’s general election a referendum of sorts on Obamacare, without the risk of yet another failed healthcare reform vote on Capitol Hill, will help Republicans pick up additional seats in the House and Senate.

“Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets Monday evening. “Premiums & deductibles are far too high – Really bad HealthCare! Even the Dems want to replace it, but with Medicare for all, which would cause 180 million Americans to lose their beloved private health insurance. The Republicans………are developing a really great HealthCare Plan with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare.”

“In other words it will be far less expensive & much more usable than ObamaCare. Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win……….back the House,” Trump wrote. “It will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America. Also, Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions. The Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great [sic] HealtCare. Meantime, the USA is doing better than ever & is respected again!”

Late last month, the Trump Justice Department told a federal appeals court that it favors striking down Obamacare in its entirety. The statement, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, was a departure from the administration’s previous stance, which was that only the law’s rules on protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be struck down. A district court had ruled in December that Obamacare was unconstitutional on the grounds that, without the individual mandate requiring people to buy healthcare insurance or face a fine, the rest of the law should fall. Republicans had zeroed out the mandate in the 2017 tax law.

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In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is preparing a resolution to condemn the Trump administration’s move and politicians gunning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have indicated their eagerness to make the fight over Obamacare a centerpiece of their offensive against the Republican president. “If it’s a fight for healthcare this administration wants, it’s a fight they’ll get — and we will win,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a tweet.

Over the weekend, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said the Trump administration will send “principles” to Congress for developing a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, countering talk that the Republicans had no plan ready.

“We’re doing the same thing on this that we did with taxes. Remember, when we started with taxes, people criticized us for not giving enough details. What did we do? We sent principles to the Hill,” Mulvaney told CNN. “From that, following the proper legislative process, we had a tremendous tax bill that passed into law.”

“We’re going to do the same thing on healthcare. As to pre-existing conditions, I know a lot of folks raised that. Keep in mind every single plan this administration has ever come out with has covered pre-existing conditions,” Mulvaney added.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week he’s eager to learn more of the president’s plan. “I look forward to seeing what the president is proposing and what he can work out with the speaker,” McConnell said, adding, “I am focusing on stopping the ‘Democrats’ Medicare for none’ scheme.”

Joseph Lawler contributed to this report.

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