President-elect Donald Trump promised a “far less expensive and far better” health care plan than currently exists, but offered zero details.
At a press conference in New York, Trump on Wednesday promised his administration will submit a plan as soon as Rep. Tom Price, his nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary is approved: “It will be repeal and replace,” he said, adding that the move would be “essentially simultaneously.” He’d like, he said, to see President Barack Obama’s signature health care plan repealed and replaced “probably the same day, could be the same hour.”
But Trump, who acknowledged health care is “very complicated stuff,” didn’t give any indication of how he’d seek to replace the 2010 health care law that has extended coverage to nearly 20 million Americans.
“The plan will be to repeal and replace Obamacare,” he said, promising to replace it with something “far less expensive and far better.”
Trump has previously said he wants to keep the more popular parts of the law, including keeping children on their parents’ health care plans until they are 26, but analysts question how that can be done without raising taxes or requiring most Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty.
He spent most of his time criticizing the Affordable Care Act, arguing that by gutting it he’s “doing the Democrats a great service.”
“We could sit back and let them hang with it,” he said. “We are going to take the problem off the shelves for them.”
He argued that the health care plan is on the verge of collapse, though Democrats argue that a lack of an alternative will create chaos and the law should instead be revised.
But Trump argued “we don’t want to own it, politically they own it right now.”
Senate and House Republicans are expected to move forward with plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act this week, but remain divided over how fast to proceed without an agreement on replacement.
Trump’s remarks came as the Senate health committee announced it will hold a hearing Jan. 18 to hear testimony from Price, R-Ga. The Senate committee does not vote on Price’s nomination but holds a courtesy hearing.