WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump delivered a pep talk on health care to wary Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, telling House members that the party will get “clobbered” in next year’s election if they fail to overhaul Obamacare.
“Republicans should not run away from health care,” Trump implored lawmakers in a speech to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans. “If we stay away from that subject, we’re going to lose.”
Trump shocked members of both parties last week when his Department of Justice sided with a Texas judge’s December 2018 ruling that the entire 2010 Affordable Care Act should be tossed out – reversing an earlier position. Some lawmakers have expressed concern about relitigating a fight the party abandoned in 2017.
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Since then, the president has argued Republicans would become the “party of health care,” though he has provided no specifics about what policy, specifically, should replace Obamacare. In a series of tweets late Monday night, Trump said that he would not ask lawmakers to actually vote on a health care plan until after the 2020 election.
Trump described health care as a central issue for 2020, when he will face reelection, and blasted some Democrats on the left for embracing a Medicare-for-all system that would give the government more control over health coverage.
“We have the border, we have the immigration, we have the crime,” Trump said, suggesting that the GOP is winning on those issues with voters.
“They have health care right now,” Trump said, referring to Democrats, “and we have to take that away from them.”