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‘Obamacare’ repeal off the table for GOP until after 2020

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    In this March 28, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich. Trump is suggesting he will defer until after 2020 his push for a Republican health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Trump tweeted late Monday that Congress will vote on a GOP plan after the elections, “when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., accompanied by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., sleft, Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., second from left, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, center right, speaks to members of the media following a Senate policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York; Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland; Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas; and other Democrat leaders, speaks outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California leaves a news conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California leaves a news conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California leaves a news conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Published April 03. 2019 05:07AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Not any longer.”

And with that, a triumphant Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to close the book Tuesday on a divisive Republican debate, convincing President Donald Trump to shelve plans to replace the Affordable Care Act until after the 2020 election.

“I made it clear to him that we were not going to be doing that in the Senate,” McConnell told reporters.

It was a rare public disclosure of private counsel from the Republican leader. And it signaled that, after two years in Trump’s Washington, Republicans on Capitol Hill are figuring out how to handle the president and his impulsive swerves on policy.

Trump insisted Tuesday it was his idea to switch course.

“I wanted to delay it myself,” Trump said during an event at the White House. “I want to put it after the election.”

Facing a court deadline, Trump seized on health care last week, backing a lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s motivations were as political as they were legislative. He didn’t want to cede the issue again in the 2020 campaign, according to a person familiar with the conversations who was not authorized to speak publicly.

“We’re going to keep the presidency, and we’ll vote in the best health care package we’ve ever had,” he said.

The Trump and McConnell had not spoken for days. The president stunned Republicans last week by announcing he wanted to try again to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, insisting the GOP could become the “party of health care.” Republicans wanted no part of a do-over after their failure to replace the law in 2017. Facing a revolt from the ranks, McConnell told the president he needed him to listen, according to a person who was granted anonymity to discuss the private call.

McConnell explained to Trump that senators are open to tackling specific aspects of health care — namely, trying to lower prescription drug prices. But Trump’s promised big, new health care bill wasn’t going happen with Democrats running the House. Instead, Trump could focus on the issue during the election.

Several times McConnell told Trump to listen, the person said. And it worked. Trump told McConnell he “accepted” the situation and “would be developing a plan that he would take to the American people during the 2020 campaign.” That night, Trump tweeted as much.

“So we don’t have a misunderstanding about that,” McConnell said Tuesday.

Trump’s shift — he tweeted late Monday that Congress will vote on a GOP plan after the elections “when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House” — made clear that the health care debate will be left for voters to decide during the race for the White House.

That arrangement suits Democrats just fine. They are denouncing Trump’s attempt to overturn the ACA in court and floating various health care plans, including an expansion of government-funded Medicare with so called “Medicare for All,” setting up a stark contrast between the parties for the campaign trail.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump will “hold Americans hostage through 2020” on an issue that affects millions of people. He said that Trump “insists he has a magic plan that we can see if only the American people re-elect him.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats’ health care battle with Trump is “a values fight.”

After Trump dropped the issue on Republicans last week, many hoped it would just go away. They had no comprehensive proposal to replace the ACA law and no big plans to unveil one. Publicly and privately, Republicans tried to talk to Trump.

McConnell has made it clear Republicans should spend their time attacking “Medicare for All” proposals rather than revisiting the ACA debate, according to a Republican granted anonymity to discuss the private thinking.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a Trump confidant, called shifting the debate to 2021 “a very pragmatic decision.” He said Tuesday that “spending quality time to develop a comprehensive strategy” would be “critical.”

Trump’s effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law narrowly failed in the Senate in 2017 when Republicans controlled both chambers in Congress. He still blames the late Sen. John McCain for joining other senators to oppose a last-ditch plan.

While Republicans gained Senate seats last fall, GOP senators — particularly those up for re-election next year — weren’t looking for another fight over the law. They saw how the issue played in 2018, when Democrats made it the cornerstone of their successful drive to win back the House.

Preserving health care protections, and especially for people with pre-existing conditions, resonates with voters. According to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters nationwide, nearly 4 in 10 Democratic voters identified health care at the top of a list of key issues.

As Democrats have blamed Republicans for trying to end the ACA, GOP-backed challenges to the 2010 law are making their way through courts.

Last week, the Trump administration told a federal appeals court it wants the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, an outcome that could leave millions of people uninsured.

In his late-Monday tweets, Trump claimed Republicans are developing a plan with cheaper premiums and deductibles that “will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America.”

Republicans appeared relieved that, for now, that battle will be fought during the campaign, rather than in Congress.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota, said the president “has some big ideas and, to his credit, wants to solve problems.” But Thune said, “you run into that wall of reality,” of a divided Congress with Democrats in control of the House, which requires bipartisanship.

“Trying to convey what the obstacles are to getting what he wants to get done in the next two years is something I think a number of our members conveyed to him,” Thune said.

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Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman, Alan Fram, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Darlene Superville and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

Comments
Meanwhile, we the working people get ripped off! Healthcare for my family is up 25% because of the Kenyan's disastrous ACA (obomacare).
Thank you demoncrats.
There was a study by Brookings in 2014 which found that “enrollment-weighted premiums in the individual health insurance market increased by 24.4 percent beyond what they would have had they simply followed…trends.” My annual policies have steadily increased in cost, increased in deductibles, and co-pays also increased. There are also questions being asked, which were never considered before the government moved in. Thanks demnocrats.
Hey dummy healthcare premiums have always increased every year so that is nothing new. Even big businesses healthcare premiums increase yearly. So back to my question or don't you understand it. Schicklgruber your as stupid as your Fuhrer.

TG, what kind of talk is this? Your grammar is tough to follow. Are you drunk, or what? Obama Care would have increased premiums for several reasons. Primarily, it was based on a lie, “You can keep your Doctor.” Remember that? From there, Obama Care was a single payer system. That means only one choice, therefore no competition. Therefore higher prices. Next, we have a government intervention. Doctors disliked the extra paperwork and bureaucracy. This only scratches the surface of the inadequacy of Obama Care.
Now I am going to address your rudeness. Mr. Mike Meyers and I always are respectful. People come to this forum to learn/share information. Social discourse involves respect for those who do not always share the same opinions. That is what normal adults do in an educated society. Bright children can even grasp this. However, with you things are different. You are a rude condescending little punk. You have no concept of academics. You are a hater. You are on full display. Keep it up. Your intellect has not developed up to the level of a child’s. Too bad...for you.
LOL you are also as stupid as heroes you follow The Fuhrer and Il Duce. It was not a single source payer system you have choices every year it seems that you and the other Tarded boy never tried this ACA , not Obamacare as you simpletons call it. Also the it is true that premiums increase yearly weather the fall under the ACA or private health insurance.

I guess you, Ramblowme and Mike the Tard also think you get cancer from wind mills or turbines. You surely are interbred people. LOL

Like your Bone Spur comrade yours are true mongoloids.

Little punk what a screw ball. You and sis or mom have any more like you? LOL
Keep it up TG! You are on full display to all. You are a rude condescending little punk that needs a spanking. Republicans are all superior to you. If you think you are something, why don’t you go down to the military recruitment center and sign up. Put something behind that big mouth. You will like America after you put some stakes in the game. Then you will become appreciative. Take the ASVAB test.(Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). See how good you do. We are all equal there. Don’t continue to be a punk. Wise up.
Yo Ramblowme i would certainly like to see you an inbred, mongoloid, Bone Spur Draft Dodging lover, Poor excuse for a businessman try to spank me it would be the last time you lifted your arm. Now go and get your anus buddy Mikey and do your Sieg Heil and go produce another youngin with your mommy or sister-daughter or what ever you call IT.
PS: I was not a draft dodger like your hero and i never would or will disrespect a Veteran of this country no matter what sex they clam to be they are all Heroes.
TG what up brudda? You are a freak show that can’t spell. Do your parents know you are on here? That skinny a** will get a spanking if you get caught. President Trump is your master. You must learn to obey. Republicans own you. You are not as good, as your spelling shows. Republicans will teach you how to spell. Republicans will teach you history. Republicans will baby sit you. Republicans will wipe away your tears. Republicans will carry you up the hills since you are weak and pathetic. Remember, Republicans love you. Don’t continue to be a weak rude punk. Your post is a reflection on you. Too bad...for you...brudda!
Yo Ramblowme just like your Bone Spur Hero do yo know where and who your daddy is or was. You and the tarded one Mikey. Maybe you got cancer from a wind turbine. I guess you and the tarded One where Bone Spur Draft dodgers also. LMAO.

Republicans and so called Christian believers, at least on a Sunday, are about as trust worthy as a low like snake OOPS that is wrong a snake has a useful purpose.
TG, you are a whack job. You owe respect and dignity to yourself, your family, your country, and your God. If your mommy sees what you write, your skinny little a** is going to get a spanking. You are a vulgar little punk that is full of hate. Ha ha. Joke on you brudda!

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