On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump pressed Republicans to move forward to immediately repeal of the Affordable Care Act and to replace it very quickly. Trump said, “We have to get to business. Obamacare has been a catastrophic event.”
Trump was apparently unclear about the timing of already scheduled votes in Congress this week, and demanded a repeal vote “probably some time next week,” and said “the replace will be very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter.”
However, Trump’s position undercuts Republican leaders who want a quick vote to repeal President Obama’s health law, but who also want to wait up to two or three years to present an alternative. Trump is also challenging Republicans in Congress who do not want any vote on a repeal until a feasible replacement exists.
But that demand is highly impossible to achieve. To date, Republicans in Congress have not come close to an agreement on a major health bill that would replace President Obama’s signature domestic achievement. A number of Republicans in the House and Senate have said publicly that they wanted to hold off on voting to cancel the health law until a replacement measure has been agreed upon.
In the meantime, the Senate has planned to vote Thursday morning on a budget resolution that would set up parliamentary protections for a health care repeal bill that would have to come from House and Senate committees by January 27. Then on Friday, the House would vote if that budget measure clears the Senate.
According to Trump, there was no cause for delay, and he would not accept a delay of more than a few weeks before a replacement plan was voted on. “Long to me would be weeks. It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan,” he said. That directly contradicts House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plans.
Mr. Trump issued a political warning to Democrats who might stand in his way, saying he would campaign against lawmakers, especially in states that he won in in the 2016 presidential election in November.
“It may not get approved the first time, and it may not get approved the second time, but the Democrats who will try not to approve it” will be at risk, warning that “they have 10 people coming up” for re-election in 2018.
“I won some of those states by numbers that nobody has seen. I will be out there campaigning,” he said.