When it was announced that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would soon be shot down in a Texas court, President Donald Trump promised that Republicans in Congress would soon devise a replacement for Obamacare. Now, he’s making good on that promise.
According to the Washington Examiner, President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that he has asked a handful of GOP senators to draft new health care legislation that would be “far better” than the ACA.
“They are going to work together, come up with something that’s really spectacular, maybe we will even get support in the House from Democrats,” Trump said. “But it’s going to be far better than Obamacare.”
Putting a plan in motion
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn before boarding Marine One en route to a campaign rally in Michigan, Trump named three of “four or five” Republican senators — John Barrasso of Wyoming, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Rick Scott of Florida — who he says will take the lead in crafting a legislative fix for health care.
“We’re winning the lawsuit to terminate Obamacare in Texas. We are winning the Texas lawsuit. And right now, we’re on the winning side,” Trump said. “Hopefully, we’ll win at the appellate division and go to the Supreme Court to terminate Obamacare.”
The president went on to lament the “disaster” that has been Obamacare before promising to implement a better system.
“Obamacare has been disaster,” Trump said. “We will take care of preexisting conditions better than they’re taken care of now. And I’ve already gotten rid of the individual mandate, which was the worst part of Obamacare, where you had to pay for the privilege of not getting bad insurance.”
It is unclear when the Obamacare replacement will be introduced, but the president says he isn’t in a hurry.
“There’s no very great rush from the standpoint. We’re waiting for decisions in the court,” he said. “But we’ve already won the case against — for the termination of Obamacare — against Obamacare. Now we’ll go to the appellate division. We’ll see what happens there. I think we’ll win — it’s in Texas.”
The end of Obamacare
Trump came within one unexpected “thumbs down” vote of repealing and replacing Obamacare early on in his administration, which disappointingly served to place health care legislation on the back burner — until now.
However, as Trump referenced in his Thursday remarks, the Republican’s recent tax legislation included a measure that did away with Obamacare’s individual mandate, which had served as the sole constitutional underpinnings of the law.
In 2018, a federal judge in Texas ruled that without the individual mandate “tax,” Obamacare was no longer constitutional; however, the judge declined to summarily dismiss the entire law until the case had been appealed through the court system. The challenge to Obamacare is now headed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as it makes its journey toward the Supreme Court, where precedent dictates the law will ultimately be struck down.
Meanwhile, countless Democrats in Washington and 2020 contenders have been pushing a disastrous single-payer “Medicare for All” government-run health care plan to replace Obamacare. But, perhaps in an effort to steal that issue away from the left, Trump has waded into the battle on health care as well, presumably with a plan that would focus more on the free market and allow flexibility for individual states to shape policy based on their constituents’ needs.
Trump promised several times over the week that “the Republican Party will become the party of great healthcare.” Now, it’s up to Republicans in the Senate to make that a reality.