While speaking from the Oval Office on Friday, President Donald Trump said that he never promised Obamacare would be repealed immediately. This came following House Republicans pulling their Obamacare replacement, the American Health Care Act, minutes before its planned vote.
“I never said repeal and replace it in 64 days,” Trump said from the Oval Office.
In fact, Trump on numerous occasions during the campaign promised that the Affordable Care Act would be repealed and replaced immediately after he entered office. In November 2016, for instance, Trump said during a health care event that as soon as he became president, he would convene a special sessions of Congress to repeal Obamacare.
“We will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare,” Trump said. “We have to do it. I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace, and it will be such an honor for me, and for you, and for everybody in this country, because Obamacare has to be replaced, and we will do it, and we will do it very, very quickly. It is a catastrophe.”
Trump also suggested in nearly every rally during the final months of his campaign that he would immediately begin dismantling Obamacare on his very first day in office.
At a rally in October 2016, Trump said that repealing Obamacare will be easy to accomplish.
“That begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare,” Trump said. “My first day in office, I’m going to ask Congress to put a bill on my desk getting rid of this disastrous law and replacing it with reforms that expand choice, freedom, affordability. You’re going to have such great health care, at a tiny fraction of the cost, and it’s going to be so easy.”
Now, President Trump is beginning to say that it will be better to let Obamacare continue to operate until Democrats come to the Republicans begging for help getting a repeal passed. He also says that the administration will be completely moving on to tax reform, and so they likely will not be getting back to health care reform for some time.
“Perhaps the best thing that could happen is exactly what happened today,” Trump said.