Trump says GOP will be 'party of health care' after DOJ escalates ObamaCare fight

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE said Tuesday that the GOP will become "the party of health care" a day after the Justice Department announced it is siding with a district court ruling that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

“Let me just tell you exactly what my message is: The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care. You watch," Trump told reporters as he visited the Capitol to meet with GOP senators.

The president's remarks came a day after the Justice Department ramped up its legal battle with former President Obama's signature law.

The department previously argued in court that the law's pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the Trump administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

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U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled in December that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of law is therefore invalid.

Democrats are likely to seize on the issue as they make health care a key part of their agenda. The party repeatedly hit Republicans during the 2018 midterm campaign over the GOP's failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Democratic leaders on Tuesday afternoon are set to unveil legislation to lower insurance costs and protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. The move comes almost nine years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

Despite supporting Republican efforts to dismantle the 2010 law, and his overall criticisms of ObamaCare, Trump has periodically sought to portray the GOP as a party focused on health care.

In a tweet ahead of last year's midterm elections, he urged Americans to "Vote Republican," saying that the party "will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions."

The comments put Republican candidates in a bind as they sought to square their support for pre-existing conditions with their repeated attempts to gut ObamaCare.

Democrats ultimately gained 40 seats in the House to retake the majority.

Updated at 1:41 p.m.