Trump suggests deferring Republican health plan push to after 2020

President Trump speaks March 28 at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich.
(Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

President Trump is suggesting he will defer until after 2020 his push for a Republican healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Trump tweeted late Monday that Congress will vote on a GOP plan after the election, “when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.”

Republicans were cool after Trump surprised them last week with an unexpected pivot to the issue and his claims that the GOP would be the party of healthcare. They don’t yet have a comprehensive plan to replace the law, known as Obamacare.


Trump’s effort to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law narrowly failed in the Senate in 2017. And while Republicans gained Senate seats last fall, there’s no indication that GOP senators want another fight over repealing Obamacare, particularly not those up for reelection next year.

Healthcare, especially protections for people with preexisting conditions, resonates with voters and helped Democrats in the November election.

According to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters nationwide, nearly 4 in 10 Democratic voters identified healthcare as the most important among a list of key issues. A Quinnipiac University poll last week found 55% of Americans supporting the improvement and not the replacement of the nation’s healthcare system.

With Democrats controlling the House, any attempt to dismantle the law could not pass Congress.

Still, Trump last week appeared to commit his party to a new push for a plan to replace the health law.

“We are working very hard on that,” Trump said as he was heading out to a Michigan rally.

He said Republicans “are going to work together to come up with something that’s really spectacular.”


In his late-Monday tweets, Trump claimed that Republicans are developing a plan with cheaper premiums and deductibles that “will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America.”

Challenges to the 2010 law are making their way through courts.

Last week, the Trump administration told a federal appeals court it wants the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, an outcome that could leave millions of people uninsured and reignite a winning political issue for Democrats.