Four days after blaming Democrats for the failure of the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare — and vowing to let his predecessor’s signature health care law “explode” — President Trump told a roomful of senators that he expects lawmakers will easily be able to reach a deal on health care.
“I have no doubt that that’s going to happen very quickly,” Trump said at a bipartisan reception for senators and their spouses at the White House Tuesday night. “That’s such an easy one.”
Trump, who last month declared that “nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” did not offer specifics. Nor did he say what had changed since Friday, when House Speaker Paul Ryan abruptly pulled the GOP’s American Health Care Act from the House floor.
“We’ve all been promising — Democrat, Republican — we’ve all been promising that to the American people. So I think a lot of good things are going to happen there,” Trump said.
Speaking to reporters Friday following the failure of the Republican bill, Trump blamed Democrats for not helping the GOP dismantle the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law better known as Obamacare.
“We had no Democrat support,” Trump said. “I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we could do, politically speaking, is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now.”
Trump said he was moving on to tax reform.
“If [Democrats] got together with us and got a real health care bill, I’d be totally open to it,” he continued. “This really would’ve worked out better if we could’ve had Democrat support. Remember we had no Democrat support. So now we’re going to go for tax reform.”
The president also said Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were “the losers.”
During his speech Tuesday night, Trump pointed to Schumer, who was in attendance.
“We are going to be doing a great job, and hopefully it will start being bipartisan, because everybody really wants the same thing,” Trump said. “We want greatness for this country that we love. So I think we’re going to gave some very good relationships. Right Chuck? I see Chuck. Hello, Chuck.”
According to Politico, those were the first words exchanged between the president and the Senate minority leader in more than two months.
Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked if the White House is currently involved in any renegotiations of the health care bill.
Spicer said both Republican and Democratic members of Congress had reached out to the president, but that the administration was not “actively planning an immediate strategy.”
“If we can find a way forward, we’ll do it,” Spicer said.
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