Republicans have long slammed Obamacare, saying its high premiums and deductibles leave enrollees feeling like the don’t have insurance. They have vowed to lower the cost, primarily by lifting Obamacare’s insurance regulations that require carriers to provide comprehensive benefits. President-elect Donald Trump vowed he’ll soon unveil a new plan to replace Obamacare that will provide “insurance for everybody,” he told The Washington Post.
Trump’s weekend interview with The Washington Post comes just after Congress took its first steps to dismantle President Barack Obama’s landmark health care reform law. The House on Friday followed the Senate in approving a budget esolution that would repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act. Committees in both chambers will now work out the details of repealing and replacing the law.
Trump is making some big promises: His insurance reform will cover more people and cost less money. Republican leaders have said it would take weeks or even months to replace the program, which affects about one-sixth of the U.S. economy. But Trump said in the Post interview that he is close to being ready to announce his own replacement.
Trump said that his plan is “very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon.” He didn’t give specifics but did say that the plan would provide a “much simplified and much less expensive” form of coverage to Americans currently covered through the Affordable Care Act.
Trump added that the plan would not cut Medicare — and that he plans to separately force drug companies to negotiate with Medicare as well as Medicaid on drug price. Most Democrats back Medicare drug negotiations, but Republicans have opposed them.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised he would “take care of everybody” and that Americans can’t let “people die on the street.” He also said he would press for Medicare to be allowed to negotiate drug prices. He also believes that his health plan will get support from Democrats. “I won’t tell you how, but we will get approval,” Trump said.
Given how far the two sides are on health policy — Democrats wanting universal coverage and Republicans emphasizing “access” and cost — it’s not clear how Trump plans to bridge the bitter differences. But Trump said he will unveil the plan alongside House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after HHS Secretary-designate Tom Price is confirmed.
Price must still undergo a confirmation hearing with the Senate Finance Committee, which has not yet been scheduled.