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 AlexanderSens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization 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 MurrayDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families 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 ObamaTrump has the right foreign policy strategy — he just needs to stop talking The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump faces bipartisan criticism over Putin presser, blames media for coverage Wall Street Journal editorial board rips Trump on Helsinki: It was a 'national embarrassment' 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.