Health

Trump Promises Again To Deliver On Health Care — But It Hasn’t Worked In The Past

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

With many Democratic presidential candidates advocating for “Medicare for All,” President Donald Trump was talking about reforming health care again in an interview aired Sunday night.

But that idea has failed in the past — even when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress — and there is reportedly a significant level of opposition from Republicans who do not share the president’s enthusiasm for revisiting his promise to deliver a new health care plan to Americans, according to a New York Times article published Monday.

“Obamacare has been a disaster,” Trump told ABC News as part of an interview with George Stephanopoulos. “You’ll see that in a month when we introduce it. We’re going to have a plan. That’s subject to winning the House, Senate and presidency, which hopefully we’ll win all three. We’ll have phenomenal health care.”

President Donald Trump is interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, June 14, 2019. ABC News screenshot

President Donald Trump is interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, June 14, 2019. ABC News screenshot

It is unclear how widespread the GOP opposition to reviving health care proposals is. When Trump recently suggested dusting off Republican health care proposals and repealing Obamacare he was reportedly rebuffed by Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, majority leader in the upper house, who told the president that any legislation would be stalled indefinitely by reluctant lawmakers. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Tells AHA That ‘Far Left’ Medicare For All ‘Serious Bad News’)

Trump has attempted to repeal Obamacare in the past, having the legislation passed in the House but only watching it die in the Senate. Trump famously blamed the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain for defeating his last, best hope of repeal.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates like Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders And Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been pushing Medicare for All, a single-payer version that would offer socialized medicine to Americans in the same fashion as in Canada and the U.K. Republicans have said that Democrats are being “dishonest” about how much the plan will cost and how it will be implemented. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Says ‘Health Care For All’ Will Require Tax Increases)

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a news conference to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2019” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Apr. 10, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Some Republican supporters are reportedly urging Trump to back-off his plans to highlight health care in the 2020 campaign.

“The president has repeatedly promised something better than the A.C.A. but has never come up with a plan himself, and the congressional plans he endorsed were definitely not better for everyone,” Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the conservative Kaiser Family Foundation, told the Times.

“There’s always a tension for presidents around whether to submit a specific proposal to Congress or let the legislative process play out,” said Levitt. “When it comes to health care, the challenge has been that the president has not only avoided proposing a specific plan, but has made promises that no plan could ever fulfill.”