GOP senator hits Trump over ObamaCare mandate support

GOP senator hits Trump over ObamaCare mandate support

Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseBill Maher takes a knee for the NFL GOP senator unleashes tweet storm against prominent white nationalist Republican says GOP messaging on health care has been poor MORE (R-Neb.) on Friday criticized Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE for his comments in support of ObamaCare's individual mandate. 

Sasse is referring to Trump's comments at CNN town hall on Thursday night, during which he spoke favorably of ObamaCare's mandate for people to have health insurance, one of the areas of the law Republicans have objected to the most.

"I like the mandate," Trump said. "So here's where I'm a little bit different. I don't want people dying on the streets."

Trump also said that he would repeal ObamaCare, which he called a "disaster."

He did not give many details of his replacement plan or specify how the mandate would play into any plan he would propose. He also said that people with pre-existing conditions will be able to get insurance, one of the most popular aspects of ObamaCare.

Trump did specify some health policies that he favors, including health savings accounts and allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, which are both standard Republican health proposals. 

Trump has drawn criticism for his previous support of single-payer healthcare, which is anathema to Republicans, but he said Thursday that he would take "care of people" without single-payer.

"That's not single-payer, by the way," he said. "That's called heart. We gotta take care of people that can't take care of themselves. But the plans will be much less expensive than Obamacare, they'll be far better than Obamacare, you'll get your doctor, you'll get everything that you want to get. It'll be unbelievable."  

Sasse has been a major critic of Trump, even campaigning against him in Iowa without endorsing any other specific candidate. His tweets on Friday connected the individual mandate to the question of nominating a new Supreme Court justice.

The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as constitutional under Congress's power to tax in a 5-4 decision in 2012. Many conservatives are still angry with Chief Justice John Roberts for voting to uphold it.