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 AlexanderObamaCare becomes political weapon for Democrats Senate passes resolution requiring mandatory sexual harassment training Sen. Warren sold out the DNC 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 MurrayA bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Overnight Health Care: ObamaCare sign-ups surge in early days Collins, Manchin to serve as No Labels co-chairs 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 ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' 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.