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Analysis

Trump Punts ACA Replacement Until After 2020 Election

By Steven Porter  
   April 02, 2019

'Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win ... back the House,' Trump tweeted a week after his administration shifted its position on the ACA's legality.

In a series of tweets Monday evening, President Donald Trump appeared to punt his renewed focus on eliminating and replacing the Affordable Care Act until after the 2020 election.

The White House made news a week earlier by shifting its position on the ACA's legality, arguing that federal judges should invalidate the entire law. Trump then said the GOP would become "The Party of Healthcare," and he signaled that another GOP-driven legislative proposal to replace the ACA with something better was forthcoming.

This week, however, he said Congress will vote on such a legislative proposal in about 19 months—in the event that Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate and regain control of the House.

"Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn't work," Trump tweeted Monday. "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," he continued. "Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win......"

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"....back the House. It will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America. Also, Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions," Trump wrote. "The Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great HealtCare. Meantime, the USA is doing better than ever & is respected again!"

Trump's apparent punt comes after GOP leaders said they wanted him to back down. Republican lawmakers have even declined to voice support for a new legislative proposal before seeing its details, so they can distance themselves from it if necessary, as Politico's Quint Forgey and John Bresnahan reported.

"I look forward to seeing what the president is proposing and what he can work out with the speaker," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Politico in a brief interview Thursday.

This development comes also as two Republican state attorneys general formally disagreed with those who argue the entire ACA should fall, arguing in an amicus brief filed Monday that only the ACA's individual mandate should be struck down.

Steven Porter is an associate content manager and Strategy editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

After fellow Republicans expressed doubt in the White House's renewed focus on replacing the ACA, the president appears to have backed down.

The administration continues to argue that the entire ACA should be invalidated by the federal courts.


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