Speed Reads

presidential promises

Trump claims 'repeal and replace' of ObamaCare could happen 'in the same hour'

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday addressed his thoughts on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, which has been a hot-button issue on Capitol Hill in recent weeks as Republican lawmakers grapple with forming a concrete alternative to President Obama's signature health-care law. Trump promised that "repeal and replace" of the Affordable Care Act would occur "essentially simultaneously," positing that a replacement proposal would be submitted "probably the same day" as legislation to repeal the law, if not within the "same hour."

Trump, speaking at his first news conference since July, repeated his oft-stated opinion that ObamaCare is a "complete and total disaster," and said he predicted 2017 would be a "catastrophic" year for the law. The belief that ObamaCare is "imploding" on its own, however, caused Trump to consider doing nothing about the law because from a "political standpoint," he said, the Democrats own its failure. "We're doing them a tremendous service," Trump said, referring to Republicans' promises to replace the law, thus assuming responsibility for the country's health care.

Politico's Jake Sherman noted that Trump's plan to "simultaneously" repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act may implicitly reveal a willingness to push back the actual date of repeal. While Trump previously promised to repeal ObamaCare on "day one" — as in, next Friday, Jan. 20, when he is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States — Sherman noted that does not logistically gel with his vow to submit a replacement simultaneously:

Trump did not offer any specifics on what his preferred replacement plan might look like.