President Donald Trump said in a “60 Minutes” interview set to air Sunday that he hopes the Supreme Court will wipe out the Affordable Care Act, which more than 20 million people rely on for their health care.
“I hope that they end it. It will be so good if they end it because we will come up with a plan,” Trump told CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl in a “60 Minutes” interview that was taped on Tuesday.
The comments come amid a fast approaching Supreme Court hearing for a case against the Obama-era health policy on Nov. 10, just days after the presidential election. And the President is pushing for the elimination of the landmark health care law in the middle of a global pandemic that has so far killed more than 220,000 Americans.
Stahl pressed Trump on the widely talked about but as of yet unseen plan, drilling down on his choice of the word “will” with regard to his agenda for health care in a hypothetical second term.
“Yeah, we will,” Trump replied before diving into a series of vague statements about what has been accomplished toward fleshing out his supposed health care plan. “We have large sections of it already done and we have already come up with plans.”
The President has long made promises about unveiling an unprecedented health care plan, although he has repeatedly failed to deliver details of a plan that Democrats have suggested may not even exist.
“We’re going to be doing a health care plan. We’re going to be doing a very inclusive health care plan. I’ll be signing it sometime very soon,” Trump told reporters in early August, after missing a series of previous deadlines on the issue this year, to say nothing of years prior.
Late last month, Trump signed an executive order that effectively sought to rebrand the ACA, keeping its protections on preexisting conditions largely intact but claiming “Obamacare is no longer Obamacare, as we worked on it and managed it very well.”
While Trump has been clear in his repudiation of any policy put forward by his predecessor, he has been particularly adamant about eliminating the Affordable Care Act.
But Trump’s comments during the CBS interview Tuesday laid bare just how unprepared his administration would be in the event that the Supreme Court rules to do away with the ACA — after making a 2016 campaign promise to repeal and replace it and failing to do so nearly four years later.
Trump released the White House’s copy of his “60 Minutes” interview on Thursday, breaking an agreement with CBS that the interview would first air on their network Sunday. Trump shared the video on Facebook, and claimed in a tweet that Stahl’s questions revealed “bias, hatred and rudeness” as if to justify his decision to walk out of the interview early and release the tape ahead of schedule.
Deputy director for the DNC War Room Daniel Wessel suggested in a statement Thursday that Trump had opted to prematurely release the tape because he had poorly answered the question regarding his own health care plan.
“Now we know why Trump was so mad about this interview. He just made it transparently obvious to the American people that his only plan for health care is to take away yours,” Wessel said.