Trump says ObamaCare replacement should come quickly
President-elect Donald Trump is calling on congressional Republicans to replace ObamaCare “very shortly” after they vote to repeal the law.
The comments to The New York Times will put pressure on House Republicans to curtail their plans to leave ObamaCare in place for a transition period as long as four years, as some have advocated. But they also pressure the GOP to act on ObamaCare’s repeal quickly, which some members have resisted.
Trump maintained that ObamaCare must be repealed, but replaced “very quickly,” according to the Times.
“Long to me would be weeks,” Trump said of how long it should take to pass a replacement. “It won’t be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan.”
“We have to get to business. ObamaCare has been a catastrophic event,” the president-elect said.
Trump told the Times the replacement bill should come “very shortly thereafter” Congress votes for repeal. He also suggested Democrats might work with Republicans on a replacement bill.
“I feel that repeal and replace have to be together, for very simply, I think that the Democrats should want to fix ObamaCare. They cannot live with it, and they have to go together,” Trump said.
Democrats in Congress have criticized Republicans for wanting to repeal the healthcare law without proposing a replacement, and some Republicans — including Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), have also called for a quick replacement.
But replacing ObamaCare could be very difficult, which is one reason why other lawmakers have suggested a transition.
It’s also not clear Democrats in Congress would cooperate with Republicans on replacement legislation. They argue Republicans risk breaking the nation’s healthcare system with their plans, and have stated that the GOP will have to own any political damage resulting from repeal.
Earlier on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the GOP’s coal was to be concurrent in repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
“It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” Ryan told reporters early Tuesday.
“We’re going to use every tool at our disposal through legislation, through regulation, to bring replace concurrent along with repeal, so that we can save people from this mess.”