Is Donald Trump Slow Rolling Obamacare Repeal and Replace?

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump gave an indication Sunday that Republicans may be behind when it comes to Obamacare repeal and replace, and they may not finish it until 2018.

In an interview on Fox Sunday, Trump said that the process might “take till sometime into next year.”

Already some House Republicans have voiced frustration and irritation that the process to repeal and replace Obamacare has slowed.

“Yes, in the process and maybe it’ll take till sometime into next year, but we’re certainly going to be in the process. Very complicated ― Obamacare is a disaster,” Trump said on Fox News. “You have to remember Obamacare doesn’t work, so we are putting in a wonderful plan. It statutorily takes a while to get. We’re going to be putting it in fairly soon. I think that, yes, I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

Now, this is Trump and it is unclear if he was speaking for congressional leaders or just voicing his own timeline, but Trump’s words may suggest that House and Senate Republicans are struggling to come up with a strategy to rally around to repeal Obamcare. Trump also may have simply been voicing the possibility that it could take into 2018 before the replacement and repeal were fully implemented.

Republicans have already begun work to repeal Obamacare. The House and Senate voted in January for a budget bill that has allowed the House to go to work to draft repeal language. That bill will be able to be passed with a simple majority in the Senate. However, there do appear to be some early snags.

During a retreat in Philadelphia in January, Republicans voiced concerns in a leaked audio tape about whether to repeal the Obamacare taxes right away or leave them to finance their own replacement and what they could do to stabilize the insurance market until they come up with a replacement plan. Members are in disagreement about the timeline and the order in which repeal and replace happen.