On Monday night, two last minute defections spelled doom for the Senate’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, as both Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced they could not support the bill.
President Donald Trump, who ran on a campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare, announced that—actually— not passing a healthcare bill was his plan all along.
As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Two tweets prior, the president said he’d like to simply repeal now and replace later—which may be what Trump meant by letting Obamacare fail and replacing it later, but that’s unclear.
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
During his campaign, however, one of Trump’s signature policy positions was his plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.
REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2016
On Twitter during his campaign, Trump made no references to letting Obamacare “fail.” He tweeted once in 2013 that Republicans should “let it fail.”
Republicans have the right approach to ObamaCare – let it fail. Free market solutions will be embraced by Americans in 2016.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2013
He tweeted repeatedly that it should be repealed and replaced.
Trump’s newfound stance, which he says he’s always maintained, comes as the a Republican-led Congress has been unable to come together on a plan. The House twice had to stall a vote on their plan in the face of mounting criticism from the public. The Senate refused to show their bill until days before a supposed vote, and it too was hit with criticism that it would add to the ranks of the American uninsured.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) postponed the Senate’s August recess in order to get this bill through. Trump did thank Republicans for their hard work, before chastizing the defectors.
We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard. We will return!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
According to the Washington Post, McConnell is now attempting to move forward on debate of an amended version of the House bill, which would repeal Obamacare, but not offer a replacement.