From the time it passed with zero Republican support, GOP politicians have promised to repeal Obamacare. There were numerous House votes to repeal Obamacare while President Obama was still in office, almost all of which were symbolic. No way would President Obama sign off on a bill repealing his hallmark legislation.
President Trump also promised repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and that it would be done quickly. But quickly is relative.
In a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Sunday, President Trump said it could take a year to repeal Obamacare.
O’Reilly asked if Americans could expect a new healthcare plan rolled out by the Trump administration.
“In the process and maybe it will take until some time into the next year, but we are certainly going to be in the process — very complicated. Obamacare is a disaster. You have to remember, Obamacare doesn’t work, so we are putting in a wonderful plan, it statutorily takes a while to get, we’ll be putting it in fairly soon. I would like to say by the end of the year — at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”
Trump’s first Executive Order halted some of the regulatory restrictions of Obamacare, at least as much as was possible through executive action.
Part of the initial holdup seems to be the delayed confirmation of Rep. Price, who Trump selected to head up HHS. Hill Democrats launched a campaign to sink Price’s nomination, one that won’t likely be successful, but has delayed his confirmation considerably.
Monday, Speaker Ryan provided the following update on the repeal process:
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Obamacare enrollments fell short of expectations—the latest example of the law’s failure to deliver on its promises. That’s why Republicans are acting with urgency to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered reform. Here’s what we’re working on this week:
- On Tuesday, the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee will advance two bills to improve Medicaid by protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring coverage for those who need it most. Learn more about these two bills here and tune in at 10 a.m.
- Also happening on Tuesday: The Small Business Committee will hold a hearing to take a look at the health insurance marketplace and how Republican alternatives will improve access and affordability for Americans nationwide. That kicks off at 11 a.m.
- The Senate is expected to vote as early as this week to confirm Dr. Tom Price (R-GA)—or, in Speaker Ryan’s words, “the absolute perfect choice.” Confirming Dr. Price, who has authority to reinvigorate the market, will be a big step forward for Americans struggling under Obamacare.
Pitched as “A Better Way”, Speaker Ryan’s plan is still in the conceptual phase but promises to make health insurance portable and patient-centric: