Trump says health care plan will be first vote after 2020 election

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE vowed Congress will be voting on a new health care package immediately after the 2020 election, touting the benefits of a plan he says Republicans are currently putting together. 

Though he has not yet revealed any details of the health care package, the president said at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner the proposal would help the GOP win the House of Representatives and the messaging war over the hot button issue.

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“I will be asking that this be my first vote immediately after the election. We are going to regain the House because of health care and other things,” Trump said.

“We’re going to come up with a health care plan. We’re not going to vote on it until after the election, we’ll all promise it’s going to be our first vote. Because we blew it. Man, I was fed a bill of goods, I want to tell you. Some of you I’m still a little angry, but not all of you.”

Health care has consistently frustrated congressional Republicans since Trump took office, with the party failing to pass three different ObamaCare repeal packages while they had control of the House and Senate from 2017-2019.

The president has consistently railed against the GOP’s inability to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of President Obama’s signature achievements. The administration made a surprise announcement last week that the Justice Department was siding with a Texas district court judge’s ruling that the entire law should be repealed. The move reversed the administration’s long-held position that only ObamaCare’s preexisting conditions protections were illegal. 

Congressional Republicans expressed concern over the announcement, fearing no plan could get through the Democrat-controlled House and that an effort to repeal the ACA could put vulnerable congressional candidates on the defensive in 2020.

“It doesn’t seem to make sense politically,” one Republican senator told The Hill.

However, Trump doubled down Tuesday, saying congressional Republicans would lose if they did not lean into healthcare in 2020.

“You got to confront it. We’ll be the party of healthcare. Republicans should not run away from healthcare, you can’t do it. You’re going to get clobbered,” he said. “If we stay away from that subject we’re going to lose, we’re going to lose. We can’t stay away, it’s too important.” 

“They have healthcare right now. We have to take that away from them,” he added, admitting Democrats have weaponized the issue to their advantage on the campaign trail in 2018. 

Democratic candidates in the midterms railed against the GOP for what they said was an effort to take away healthcare from millions of Americans, noting that it was the ACA that first legislated protections for preexisting conditions. 

In an effort to cut down on Democratic attacks, the president vowed that any plan the GOP devises would keep safeguards for patients with preexisting conditions, which consistently polls as Obamacare’s most popular aspect. 

“We have to protect and cannot run away from a thing called preexisting conditions. We can’t do it, you’re going to get clobbered,” he said. “The Republican Party will be the champion of preexisting conditions. You have to do it.”