President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE reportedly floated the idea of expanding Medicare to cover everyone and intially appeared disinterested in repealing ObamaCare, according to a bombshell book about his first year in office.
Michael Wolff writes in "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" that the president "probably preferred the notion of more people having health insurance than fewer people having it."
"He was even, when push came to shove, rather more for ObamaCare than for repealing ObamaCare," Wolff writes in his book, which was released midnight Thursday and has been attacked and dismissed as "fake news" by the White House.
Wolff wrote that Trump was disinterested in the details of the GOP's repeal-and-replace legislation and went along with the plan so he could move on to other issues.
Trump frequently lamented in public that he wished he started with tax reform before ObamaCare repeal and often expressed his impatience with repeal efforts, which took up nearly a year before Republicans threw in the towel after a failed Senate vote.
"I want to get to taxes," Trump said at a speech in March in Nashville.
"I want to cut the hell out of taxes. But before I can do that — I would have loved to put it first, to be honest — there is one more very important thing that we have to do, and we are going to repeal and replace horrible, disastrous ObamaCare."
Trump also faced widespread mockery in February when he noted how difficult health-care reform was.
"It's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated," he said.
Trump also asked aides about "Medicare for all," Wolff said in the book, one of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWTO faces renewed scrutiny amid omicron threat Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan MORE's (I-Vt.) key issues in his 2016 presidential campaign.
"Why can't Medicare simply cover everybody?" Trump reportedly asked.
Trump criticized Sanders's Medicare-for-all bill when it was introduced in September, calling it a "curse on the U.S."
But Trump has previously made positive comments about single-payer. Trump said earlier this year that Australia, which has a single-payer system, "has better health care than we do."
Trump also advocated for single-payer in his 2000 book "The America We Deserve," writing, "We must have universal healthcare."
Revelations from Wolff's book have consumed Washington's first week of the new year, with questions about it dominating White House press briefings on Wednesday and Thursday.
Trump ripped the "phony book" on Twitter both Thursday and Friday, saying it was "full of lies."
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
Well, now that collusion with Russia is proving to be a total hoax and the only collusion is with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE and the FBI/Russia, the Fake News Media (Mainstream) and this phony new book are hitting out at every new front imaginable. They should try winning an election. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018