Trump: We Didn’t Want To Bring Up Individual Mandate Repeal Until Now

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed the Republican tax overhaul has “essentially repealed Obamacare” but said officials “didn’t want to bring it up” until the legislation had already passed.

“The individual mandate is being repealed. When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed because they get their money from the individual mandate,” Trump said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

He said the tax bill has “essentially repealed Obamacare,” though the legislation has eliminated a key provision of the health care law but not repealed it entirely, and claimed Republicans will come up with something that will be much better, whether it’s block grants or whether it’s taking what we have and doing something terrific.”

“We didn’t want to bring it up. I told people specifically, ‘Be quiet with the fake news media because I don’t want them talking too much about it,'” Trump said. “Because I didn’t know how people would — but now that it’s approved I can say the individual mandate on health care, where you had to pay not to have insurance, okay, think of that one, you pay not to have insurance. The individual mandate has been repealed.”

The House on Wednesday was scheduled to vote again on the tax legislation it initially passed on Tuesday, after the Senate parliamentarian ruled some portions of the bill don’t pass muster with reconciliation rules.

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