Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has informed the White House that the Senate will not be repealing and replacing Obamacare before the 2020 elections. President Trump had asked Senate republicans to begin the repeal last week during a luncheon in the White House. McConnell reportedly told Trump that the Senate will just work on other bills to reduce the cost of healthcare and that any comprehensive healthcare reform designed to replace Obamacare is impossible for now.
The senior United States Senator from Kentucky told reporters that he had a very good conversation with the president about the issue. He claimed that repealing Obamacare now that Democrats control the House of Representatives would be a huge challenge. McConnell also pointed out that the GOP had the chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act during the last Congress but they couldn’t do it. Republicans had control of both the House and the Senate. Despite this, efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare came to a grinding halt. This was the first legislative defeat for Trump who had only been in office for a few weeks at that time.
Nonetheless, the president in partnership with GOP lawmakers is reportedly working on a revamped healthcare plan that he intends to present to the people during the 2020 campaign. Trump also appeared to accept the current reality. In a tweet sent shortly after meeting McConnell, the President noted that he no longer expected Congress to pass any legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump also said that the plan that Republicans are currently working on will be “far less expensive and much more usable than Obamacare.”
Trump also expressed confidence that the new plan will be taken to a vote in Congress after the 2020 elections, where according to him, the GOP would have regained the House of Representatives. The president blindsided many GOP senators last week after he asked them to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The only indication they got came from a tweet sent minutes before the meeting where president Trump claimed the “Republican Party will become the Party of Healthcare.”
But there was immediate pushback from some GOP senators. Some even argued that the latest efforts by the White House to invalidate the current healthcare law were a big mistake. Others also noted that they wanted to see a possible replacement plan first before they could begin thinking about a comprehensive overhaul of Obamacare. But there’s still that elephant in the room. The control that Democrats have on the House of Representatives means that they have a lot of leverage.
Mitch McConnell was quick to point this out in his discussion with the president. The same sentiments were also shared by Republican Whip John Thune from South Dakota. Thune made it clear that the chances of passing a full Obamacare repeal with Democrats controlling the House of Representatives were very slim. Democrats seem to have no intention to change the Affordable Care Act. The sweeping healthcare legislation was passed during the tenure of former President Barack Obama. Although it has been criticized by some GOP lawmakers, efforts to repeal and replace it have failed.