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Trump: Let ObamaCare implode
President Trump on Friday laid out his plan now that Congress's healthcare push has collapsed: "Let ObamaCare implode."
"You know, I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode and then do it. And I turned out to be right. Let ObamaCare implode," he said during a speech on gang violence in Long Island, N.Y.
The comments came less than a day after the Republican-controlled Senate failed to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a stunning and devastating defeat for Trump and GOP leaders.
The president, who campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace former President Obama's healthcare law, expressed disbelief that Republicans could not accomplish that goal with control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
"They should have approved healthcare last night, but you can't have everything, boy oh boy," the president said to a room full of law enforcement officers. "They've been working on that one for seven years. Can you believe that? The swamp. But we'll get it done. We're gonna get it done."
Democrats, industry figures and patient advocates have expressed grave concern about the possibility that the Trump administration and congressional Republicans might try to undermine the healthcare law.
Trump has previously threatened to withhold subsidies the government pays to insurance companies so they can lower deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket costs for low-income patients.
Experts warn that doing so could drive up costs and spur instability in the individual insurance market, which is already facing problems in many areas of the country.
Congress could also attempt to de-fund certain parts of the law.
Thus far, the White House hasn't said whether it plans to consider any of those options. Trump on Friday delivered a string of brief remarks and tweets on the law. The White House has not answered questions about the Senate vote.
"[Three] Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!" Trump tweeted just before 2:30 a.m. on Friday.
Trump reportedly met with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday to discuss healthcare. Several GOP House members from New York were also spotted at the White House.
House members left Washington on Friday to begin their five-week August recess.
With time running short for Trump and congressional Republicans to notch a major legislative victory, leaders appeared ready to move on to other issues and not spend more time on the painful healthcare fight.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he was not ready to give up on the healthcare fight but also stressed that the time has come to pursue tax reform.
"We have so much work still to do, and the House will continue to focus on issues that are important to the American people. At the top of that list is cutting taxes for middle-class families and fixing our broken tax code," he said in a statement.
Those comments echoed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) floor speech early Friday morning after the vote failed.
"So now, Mr. President, it's time to move on," he said.