President Donald Trump is pressuring Republicans to produce a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, a request the GOP considers unrealistic in a divided Congress and politically perilous ahead of the 2020 elections.
Hours after meeting with Senate Republicans at the Capitol on Tuesday, Trump spoke on the phone with a handful of senators, urging them to write a new law – even though the party failed to coalesce around a plan when it controlled the House and Senate for two years.
The White House has no proposal in the works, according to administration officials, but Trump wants Republicans to pass a bill before his reelection effort that would do what Obamacare does – provide coverage to millions of Americans.
Trump spoke with Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., on Tuesday evening and listed his priorities in a phone call with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on Wednesday morning.
“He wants to preserve people being able to get their insurance through work . . . and focused on people with preexisting conditions,” Barrasso said. “He is 100 percent committed to ensuring that people with preexisting conditions get covered, and I understand that . . . and the president is also focused on lowering the cost of drugs.”
Trump’s push comes after his Justice Department, in a filing Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, argued that the ACA should be thrown out in its entirety, including provisions protecting those with preexisting health conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health-care plans.
If the case reaches the Supreme Court, it’s unclear how it would fare: Five justices who preserved the ACA during a previous case are still on the court.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Rachael Bade, Josh Dawsey, Seung Min Kim, John Wagner