Kirsters Baish| Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told President Donald Trump during a Monday conversation that the GOP is not planning on repealing and replacing Obamacare prior to the 2020 presidential election, even though Trump specifically requested that Senate Republicans do so during a meeting last week.
McConnell stated that he told Trump that Senate Republicans are going to try to keep the cost of health care down by putting together new bills, however, they will not be working on “a comprehensive package to replace the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration is trying to strike down in court,” according to the Hill.
“We had a good conversation yesterday afternoon and I pointed out to him the Senate Republicans’ view on dealing with comprehensive health care reform with a Democratic House of Representatives,” McConnell said to reporters on Tuesday, referring to his conversation with the President.
“I was fine with Sen. Alexander and Sen. Grassley working on prescription drug pricing and other issues that are not a comprehensive effort to revisit the issue that we had the opportunity to address in the last Congress and were unable to do so,” he continued, speaking about Republican Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Finance Republican Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and “the failed GOP effort in 2017 to repeal and replace ObamaCare,” the Hill reports.
McConnell said he told Trump, “I made clear to him that we were not going to be doing that in the Senate. He did say, as he later tweeted, that he accepted that and he would be developing a plan that he would take to the American people during the 2020 campaign.”
After receiving McConnell’s message, the President sent out a tweet on Monday evening explaining that he no longer expects Congress to “pass legislation to replace ObamaCare and still protect people with pre-existing medical conditions, the herculean task he laid before Senate Republicans at a lunch meeting last week,” the Hill reports.
Trump wrote in a series of tweets after speaking to McConnell, “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 Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.”
The Hill reports:
Trump blindsided GOP senators when he told them at last week’s lunch meeting that he wanted Republicans to craft legislation to replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
The only heads-up they got was a tweet from Trump shortly before the meeting, saying, “The Republican Party will become ‘The Party of Healthcare!’”
The declaration drew swift pushback from Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who said the administration’s efforts to invalidate the entire law were “a mistake.”
Other Republicans, including Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), said they wanted to first see a health care plan from the White House.
Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) on Tuesday said the chances of getting comprehensive legislation passed while Democrats control the House are very slim.
“It’s going to be a really heavy lift to get anything through Congress this year given the political dynamics that we’re dealing with in the House and the Senate,” Thune stated. “The best-laid plans and best of intentions with regard to an overhaul of the health care system in this country run into the wall of reality that it’s going to be very hard to get a Democrat House and a Republican Senate to agree on something.”