Trump now says he never wanted new ObamaCare replacement vote

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham: America must 'accept the pain that comes in standing up to China' Weld 'thrilled' more Republicans are challenging Trump New data challenges Trump's economic narrative MORE on Wednesday claimed he never wanted Congress to vote on an ObamaCare replacement ahead of the 2020 elections, even though he unexpectedly revived the issue and pushed for swift action.

“I was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 Election on the wonderful HealthCare package that some very talented people are now developing for me & the Republican Party. It will be on full display during the Election as a much better & less expensive alternative to ObamaCare,” he tweeted.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The president denied that pressure from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded McGrath releases ad blasting McConnell with coal miners in Kentucky: 'Which side are you on?' Prediction: 2020 election is set to be hacked, if we don't act fast MORE (R-Ky.) led him to change his plans, even though he announced his decision after speaking with the top GOP senator on Monday.
 
“I never asked Mitch McConnell for a vote before the Election as has been incorrectly reported (as usual) in the @nytimes, but only after the Election when we take back the House etc.,” Trump wrote.
 
He predicted health care “will be a great campaign issue” for Republicans and said the party “will always support pre-existing conditions!”
 
The president backed off a previous demand earlier this week for Congress to quickly pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act after McConnell warned him in a private conversation that the upper chamber would not take up the issue ahead of 2020.
 
“We had a good conversation yesterday afternoon and I pointed out to him the Senate Republicans’ view on dealing with comprehensive health care reform with a Democratic House of Representatives,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
 
Trump on Tuesday also said divided government played into his thinking, while indicating he initially wanted Congress to act soon.
 
“I wanted to delay it myself. I want to put it after the election because we don’t have the House,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office.
 
The Trump administration thrust ObamaCare back into the spotlight last week after it agreed with a judge’s ruling that the entire law should be struck down. Trump then prodded GOP lawmakers to come up with a replacement.
 
“The Republican Party will become the Party of Great HealthCare! ObamaCare is a disaster, far too expensive and deductibility ridiculously high — virtually unusable! Moving forward in Courts and Legislatively!” he tweeted last Thursday.
 
His decision rattled Republican lawmakers, who have struggled to rally around an alternative health care plan since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. Republican leaders in Congress almost immediately distanced themselves from any effort to tackle an ObamaCare replacement.
 
Democrats won control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections in large part by running on the issue of health care, pointing to the GOP Congress’s failed attempts to repeal former President Obama’s signature law.
 
Updated at 10:29 a.m.