Trump Backtracks on GOP Health Plan Push Before Election

April 2, 2019 by Dan McCue
Donald Trump, presidente de Estados Unidos. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Donald Trump appeared to backtrack Monday night on his renewed push for a Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Taking a break from lambasting congressional Democrats via Twitter for their demands to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said via tweet that a vote on a GOP health care plan “will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win … back the House.”

“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 HealtCare (sic). Meantime, the USA is doing better than ever & is respected again!” the president wrote.

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill were surprised and unhappy when Trump pivoted to health care after Mueller turned the report of his investigation over to Attorney General William Barr.

Senate Republicans currently don’t have a comprehensive replacement for the Affordable Care Act, and many reportedly don’t want to take up the issue this close to the 2020 election.

Trump’s last attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act was narrowly defeated in the Senate in 2017.

Last week, the Trump administration told the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans it wants the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, an outcome that could leave millions of people uninsured and potentially reignite a political issue for Democrats that helped propel them to victory in the 2018 midterms.

On Thursday, the president told the crowd at a campaign-style rally in Michigan that he and congressional Republicans were ” working very hard” on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, promising the crowd “something that’s really spectacular.”

But when it comes to health care, the president appears to be swimming against the tide of most Republicans.

A study released by Gallup Tuesday found that while many Americans are currently experiencing or fear facing an extreme financial burden caused by high healthcare costs, more Republicans than Democrats consider the quality of care in the U.S. to be the best or among the best in the world.

Gallup conducted its study in collaboration with West Health, a philanthropy that funds research into health care issues. The study included interviews with members of Gallup’s National Panel of Households, healthcare industry experts and 3,537 randomly selected adults.

The study found that 67 percent of Republicans consider the quality of care in the U.S. to be the best or among the best in the world; just 38 percent of Democrats shared this sentiment.

In addition, more than two-thirds of Republicans and Democrats were not at all confident that Congress will be able to achieve bipartisan legislation to reduce costs.

Without the support of Democrats in Congress, any Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act would fail.

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