This presidential tweet might be the most troubling yet.
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
The Senate was preparing a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and fix its percieved problems—until the Congressional Budget Office said it would cause 22 million more people to lose their insurance by 2026, according to The New York Times. While a vote had originally been planned for this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed voting as it seemed clear the bill wouldn't get the 50 votes it needs to pass.
Now it seems like President Trump is scrambling for a solution. What sparked this tweet? A letter from Senator Ben Sasse, urging Trump to do just that.
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) June 30, 2017
"You campaigned and won on the repeal of ObamaCare," Sasse wrote, "So did every Republican senator. We should keep our word."
CNN reports that "Sasse's team and the White House had been privately discussing getting the President to publicly support a straight repeal bill." Then they drafted that letter.
So, is there just going to be a period where no one has health care? Trump has already answered this question in a 60 Minutes interview just after the election. Lesley Stahl asked, "And there's going to be a period if you repeal it and before you replace it, when millions of people could lose—no?"
"No, we're going to do it simultaneously," Trump replied, meaning the GOP would repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time. "It'll be just fine," he continued. "We're not going to have, like, a two-day period and we're not going to have a two-year period where there's nothing. It will be repealed and replaced."
How exactly is that going to work? Sasse wrote in his letter, "We should include a year-long implementation delay to give comfort to Americans currently on ObamaCare that a replacement plan will be enacted before expiration." Yeah... like that's going to happen. With the struggle the Senate went through trying to keep their bill a secret and then trying to get enough support, it seems unlikely that they'll agree on anything in a year.