News & Politics

Trump Promises Obamacare Replacement 'as Soon as Our Secretary Is Approved'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up during a campaign rally at the Lackawanna College Student Union in downtown Scranton, Pa., Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. (Butch Comegys/The Times & Tribune via AP)

In his press conference on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump promised to present a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) “as soon as our secretary is approved, almost simultaneously.”

“We’re going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary is approved — almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter — a plan,” Trump promised. “It will be repeal and replace, it will be essentially simultaneously. … very complicated stuff.”

The Republican Party has come under fire by Democrats, who complain that while the Republican Congress and president would repeal Obamacare, they would likely wait to replace the health law, allegedly depriving millions of healthcare in the mean time. Trump’s promise seemed to address those concerns, promising a comprehensive plan as soon as his pick for Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, Georgia Representative Tom Price, is confirmed.

“You’re going to be very proud” of the health plan, Trump promised. He also added that repealing and replacing Obamacare is a gift to Democrats, as it would free them from this burdensome political issue.

“Frankly, we could sit back — and it was the thought, from a political standpoint — but it wouldn’t be fair to the American people,” Trump declared. “We don’t want to own it politically, they own it right now.”

“So the easiest thing would be to let it implode in [20]17, and believe me, we’d get pretty much whatever we wanted for a long time,” Trump surmised. But instead, “we’re going to get a health bill passed, we’re going to get healthcare taken care of in this country.”

He described the current state of Obamacare as dire. “You have deductibles that are so high, that after people go broke paying their premiums — which are going through the roof — the healthcare can’t even be used by them because the deductibles are so high.”

As of now, “Obamacare is the Democrats’ problem,” but “we are going to take the problem off the shelves for them,” Trump said. “We’re doing them a tremendous service by doing it.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argued that repealing Obamacare would “Make America Sick Again.” Toward the end of his term, President Obama’s administration has denied the obvious failures of his health care overhaul, providing wonderful content to mock on Twitter.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare, two weeks before President Obama would leave office.

If President-elect Trump keeps his promise, the Republicans will announce their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare after Rep. Tom Price’s hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday. That does not give them much time to finalize a plan. Hopefully, most of the work has already been done.

Here’s the video of Trump’s declaration.