Defending Senate Repeal Effort, Trump Trashes Obamacare

President Donald Trump reacts as he begins to speak at the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

President Donald Trump on Saturday defended Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal by arguing against the law it seeks to roll back.

Trump’s reference to “keep your doctor, keep your plan” appeared to be in reference to former President Barack Obama’s claim in support of the Affordable Care Act that Americans who liked their health insurance plans could keep them. Politifact notably named that claim its “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

But while it’s true that health care costs are rising, there’s little evidence that Senate Republicans’ bill, which was negotiated in secret for weeks and could see a vote as early as Thursday, would do anything to stop that rise. In fact, it would likely increase consumers’ out-of-pocket costs.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that they aimed to have an estimate on the impacts of the Senate proposal “early next week.”

Trump has consistently made dramatic promises about health care — including that he would sign into law a bill to provide “insurance for everybody” and that he would not sign off on cuts to programs like Medicaid — that Republican legislators have not achieved in their Obamacare repeal effort.

On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump was “very supportive of the current bill,” referring to the Senate Republicans’ bill, and that “he’s committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the Medicaid program is affected in any way, which is reflected in the Senate bill and he’s pleased with that.”

However, Senate Republicans’ bill would make deep cuts to Medicaid, rolling back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and transforming federal Medicaid payments to the states into per capita reimbursements, the rates of rich would get smaller and smaller through 2025, or block grants.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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