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Affordable Care Act

Trump, in Reversal, Says Replacing Obamacare Can Wait Until After Election


(Bloomberg) – President Donald Trump said Republicans would wait until after the 2020 election to vote on a replacement for Obamacare, abruptly halting a push he began just last week and guaranteeing that the issue will take center stage in his re-election campaign.

He made the shift in a series of Twitter posts late Monday night, saying that the “Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.”

The posting ended a week-long scramble by GOP lawmakers to respond to Trump’s demand for an Obamacare alternative after the administration unexpectedly changed its position in a lawsuit by arguing that Obamacare should be entirely struck down. Trump’s Justice Department had previously said that it should be only partly overturned.

A final court ruling in that case is likely to come by the end of June 2020. If Trump wins in court, there could be swift and widespread chaos and uncertainty in American health care — at least until an alternative system is put in place — as the array of changes to industry regulations, subsidies for low-income individuals and delivery system reforms would be undone.

“Everybody agrees that Obamacare doesn’t work,” the president said in a Monday night tweet.

The administration’s new legal position is a political gift to Democrats who are vowing to defend Obamacare and its more popular elements, including insurance coverage protections for people with pre-existing health conditions and a vast expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor.

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