GOP senator: Trump may have been only one who didn't realize healthcare complexity

GOP senator: Trump may have been only one who didn't realize healthcare complexity
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The Republican chairman of the Senate Health Committee says that President Trump may have been the only person who didn't understand the complexity of healthcare policy.

"As the president said, nobody knew how complicated this was," Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Finance: Trump says shutdown 'could happen' | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Senate approves motion to go to tax conference House conservatives, Ryan inch closer toward spending deal MORE (R-Tenn.) told The New York Times' "The New Washington" podcast.

"Well, he may have been the only person who didn't know that, because it's very complicated. It involves nearly 300 million Americans, many different points of view."

In the wake of the failure of the Senate's so-called "skinny" ObamaCare repeal bill last week, Alexander and his Democratic counterpart on the health committee, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats turn on Al Franken VA slashes program that helps homeless veterans obtain housing: report The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Wash.), said they will hold hearings in September on how to stabilize the law's individual insurance market.

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The hearings' announcement marks a decidedly bipartisan approach to healthcare reform following months of GOP efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

As a presidential candidate, Trump vowed to swiftly repeal and replace President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPatagonia files suit against Trump cuts to Utah monuments Former Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation MORE's signature healthcare law.

But soon after taking office in January, Trump conceded that reforming the nation's healthcare system was far more complicated than he had imagined.

"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," he said in February. "Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated."

Since then, congressional Republicans have struggled to reach an agreement on how to best repeal the ACA.

The House passed its version of healthcare reform in May after an initial failure weeks earlier. But that measure lacked support among Senate Republicans, who have so far failed to reach consensus on a healthcare plan.