Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Sunday that the Trump administration will release an Obamacare replacement plan before the 2020 elections.
“I do think you’ll see a plan here fairly shortly,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Mulvaney reportedly met with top administration officials and White House aides, including Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, at Camp David on Saturday to discuss health care policy. “The talks ranged from messaging strategies to lowering drug prices to individual health insurance marketplaces,” CNN’s Sarah Westwood reports.
The Trump administration caught Republican lawmakers off guard last month when it decided to back a legal ruling invalidating the entire Affordable Care Act and the president called on GOP lawmakers to again try to replace the law — a call they didn’t exactly race to embrace.
“It's clear that a week into the Trump-mandated makeover as the ‘Party of Health Care,’ few lawmakers want ownership of an issue proven toxic to Republicans’ political futures,” Politico’s Adam Cancryn and Alice Miranda Ollstein write. “The GOP has been deadlocked on a replacement since its high-profile repeal effort collapsed in the fall of 2017. That’s left the party paralyzed — reluctant to contradict Trump but scared of entering another campaign cycle without a coherent health care message. Those most qualified to craft a plan have no interest in the job, while others eager for another repeal effort aren’t gaining traction.”
GOP lawmakers are still divided on health care, split between conservatives who want to completely wipe out Obamacare and some moderates who worry about voters losing coverage or protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions.
“A Trump health plan could reduce regulations, spending, taxes, and premiums under the ACA,” Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation tweeted Monday. “It couldn't simultaneously cover as many people, lower deductibles, and provide equal protections for people with pre-existing conditions. There's no magic pixie dust in health care.”
That hasn’t stopped the White House from pushing ahead with its search for a plan. “Republicans have better ideas than Democrats. We should not be afraid to talk about that,” Mulvaney said Sunday “We want to run on this.”