President Trump praised health care block grants on Saturday, saying they allow the states to focus on health care, but said he would rather focus his energy on tensions with North Korea than "fixing somebody's back or their knee."
"You know in theory, I want to focus on North Korea, I want to focus on Iran, I want to focus on other things. I don't want to focus on fixing somebody's back or their knee or something. Let the states do that," the president told Mike Huckabee on the Trinity Broadcasting Network's "Huckabee."
"The block grant concept is a very good concept, and if you have good management, good governors, good politicians in the state, it'll be phenomenal," he continued.
"I could almost say we are just about there in terms of the vote, so I expect to be getting health care approved," he said.
Trump's comments come after Senate Republicans failed twice this year to fulfill a seven-year campaign promise of repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
The latest repeal and replace failure was the Graham-Cassidy bill, which included block grants to states.
However, the legislation failed after Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (Ariz.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' Paul, Cruz fire back after Fauci says criticism of him is 'dangerous' No deal in sight as Congress nears debt limit deadline MORE (Ky.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks On The Money — Biden sticks with Powell despite pressure MORE (Maine) announced their opposition to the bill last month, effectively killing it.
Trump has expressed frustration in his Republican colleagues in the Senate for their health care failure, so much so that he called Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday to discuss the issue.
I called Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers take aim at 'Grinches' using bots to target consumers during holidays Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father MORE yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
The move is likely to unsettle Republicans on Capitol Hill who have been working with Trump on tax reform in recent weeks.