After two Republican senators declared their opposition to the GOP's Senate health care bill on Monday, Trump wants his party to start anew from a "clean slate." According to his first tweet since the bill failed to garner enough votes, that means first continuing the crusade to repeal Obamacare. Once the American Health Care Act is out of the way, Trump suggests Democrats will "join in" on crafting a new piece of legislation.
"Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate," Trump tweeted that evening. "Dems will join in!" This isn't the first time Trump — or other Republicans — have encouraged efforts to repeal first and replace later.
On June 30, in fact, Trump tweeted "If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!" Now that Senate support for the Better Care Reconciliation Act has fallen short more than once, it's becoming clearer that if Republicans want to succeed in replacing the ACA, they'll have to take it one step at a time. However, according to experts, the results of repealing first and repealing at a later date could be deleterious for Americans left in health care limbo.
"One of the major challenges and one of the reasons Republicans on the Hill moved away from [repeal and delay] six months ago is that upending the whole health care system and then giving insurers no certainty on what would come after is a recipe for disaster," Matthew Fiedler, a Brookings Institution health care fellow, told ABC News in late June. "One of the things we have seen is that the insurance industry just does not deal very well with uncertainty."
Despite the risks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has heeded Trump's call to separate the repeal and replace efforts. The senate leader who's been at the forefront of the health care battle, released a statement Monday night:
In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period.
That means the ACA could still be repealed in the near future, even if a plan to replace it isn't formed for another two years.