Washington: President Donald Trump vowed Saturday to press ahead with a controversial plan, slowed by bickering within his Republican party, to repeal Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
“We are making great progress with healthcare. ObamaCare is imploding and will only get worse. Republicans coming together to get job done!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump, who spent part of Saturday meeting with senior aides at his golf club in Virginia, told reporters that he spent part of the day strategizing with his White House team on the health care overhaul.
The president has thrown his full weight behind a contested plan by House Republicans to replace Obamacare, battling to overcome resistance from the party’s right wing in hopes of meeting a key campaign pledge.
On Saturday, he dispatched his top lieutenant, vice president Mike Pence, to the southern state of Kentucky to make a pitch for the beleaguered proposal.
“Here are the heart-breaking facts: today, Americans are paying $3,000 more a year on average for health insurance than the day Obamacare was signed into law,” Pence told a crowd in the city of Louisville.
“Last year alone, premiums spiked by 25% and millions of Americans have lost their health insurance plans and lost their doctors,” Pence said, touting the Republican reform plan, unveiled just this past Monday, as the solution.
“We’re going to give Americans more choices. We’ll expand health savings accounts,” Pence declared.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, we’re actually also going to finally allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines—the way you buy life insurance, the way you buy car insurance.”
Obama’s signature health insurance reform bill was the crowning domestic achievement of his presidency.
But like much of the rest of his legacy, it has come under attack from Trump, who has made dismantling it one of his top goals.
Republicans’ market-driven plan to replace it, however, has been roundly criticized by some members of their own party—especially in the US Senate—and also has been met with consternation from conservative pundits.
“The Republican health plan would make America’s economic chasm worse. It would cut health subsidies that go to the poor while eliminating the net investment income tax, which benefits only the top one percent,” right-of-center political columnist David Brooks wrote in the New York Times this week.
Democrats were no less harsh in their assessment of the Republican health care reform plan.
“They’re calling it the American Health Care Act: the AHCA. But they should call it the BBBA: the Big Breaks for Billionaires Act,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos on Saturday.
In their plan, which “takes coverage away from the people who need it the most, Washington Republicans found a way to give massive tax breaks to the CEOs of health insurance companies, as well as to America’s billionaires,” Bustos said.