Barack Obama
Mr. Trump has promised to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with “something terrific”
  • The president has acknowledged that no plan would be voted on in Congress until 2021.
  • The hard economic reality of fashioning a plan that lives up to the promises Mr. Trump has made would invariably involve trade-offs unpopular with many voters.
  • Democratic leaders have argued that they won control of the House in last year’s midterm elections in large part on the health care issue.

As President Trump prepares to kick off his bid for a second term this week, he is anxiously searching for a way to counter Democrats on health care, one of their central issues, even though many of his wary Republican allies would prefer he let it go for now.

Since he announced his previous run four years ago, Mr. Trump has promised to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with “something terrific” that costs less and covers more without ever actually producing such a plan.

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Now he is vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest.

If he follows through, it could help shape a presidential race that Democrats would like to focus largely on health care.

Congress
While the president has acknowledged that no plan would be voted on in Congress until 2021

when he hopes to be in a second term with Republicans back in charge of the House, he is gambling that putting out a plan to be debated on the campaign trail will negate some of the advantage Democrats have on the issue.

But nervous Republicans worry that putting out a concrete plan with no chance of passage would only give the Democrats a target to pick apart over the next year.

The hard economic reality of fashioning a plan that lives up to the promises Mr. Trump has made would invariably involve trade-offs unpopular with many voters.

“Obamacare has been a disaster,” Mr. Trump told ABC News in an interview aired on Sunday evening. His own plan, he insisted, would lower costs.

“You’ll see that in a month when we introduce it. We’re going to have a plan. That’s subject to winning the House, Senate and presidency, which hopefully we’ll win all three. We’ll have phenomenal health care.”

The president’s renewed interest in health care comes as he plans an elaborate rally in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday to open a re-election campaign that is already struggling to find its bearings.

After last week’s leak of a series of dismal internal poll results from March showing him trailing in multiple battleground states, Mr. Trump first denied that the surveys even existed, only to have his campaign later confirm that they in fact were real.

By Sunday, the episode had led to a purge as the Trump campaign indicated that it would cut ties with three of its five pollsters, a sign of internal discord in an operation seeking to be far more organized and professional than the slapdash, one-man show that Mr. Trump ran out of Trump Tower in New York four years ago.

Democratic leaders have argued that they won control of the House in last year’s midterm elections in large part on the health care issue, and they have been pressing the point in recent weeks.

Over the weekend, 140 House Democrats, more than half of the party’s caucus, held events or online town halls to talk about health care, their largest coordinated action in districts since winning the majority.

In particular, Democrats hammered the Trump administration for asking a court in March to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, which among other things would eliminate protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly said he favors such protections but has not explained how he would achieve them if the Obama-era law were invalidated.

“The Trump administration is currently suing to eliminate the law that guarantees health care coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions,” said Representative Ted Lieu of California, a leader of the Democratic committee that organized the weekend activities. “That action speaks for itself.

If Trump wants to be serious about health care, he needs to stop the lawsuit and his other actions that seek to sabotage the A.C.A.”

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