Former President Trump over the weekend revived his calls to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act if he wins the 2024 presidential election.
In a Truth Social post, the leading GOP presidential candidate claimed he’s “seriously looking at alternatives” to replace ObamaCare, and that the failure to repeal the health law in 2017 while he was in office was “a low point for the Republican Party.”
Republicans were one vote away from repealing the law in 2017 after the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted with Democrats to keep ObamaCare in place. Ever since, Trump has knocked and mocked McCain, even years after the senator’s death from brain cancer.
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Democrats retook control of the House in 2018 after making the GOP repeal efforts the center of their campaigns, promising to protect Americans from losing coverage for preexisting conditions.
Trump reinjecting life into the health care debate could backfire for Republicans, who have largely given up campaigning against ObamaCare, an acknowledgment that health care is a losing issue for them.
Three GOP-led attempts to repeal the law through the courts have also failed, including one backed by Trump in 2020.
“We had a couple of Republican Senators who campaigned for 6 years against it, and then raised their hands not to terminate it. It was a low point for the Republican Party, but we should never give up!” Trump said.
Republicans instead have focused on issues like crime, immigration and the economy. Thirteen years after its passage, ObamaCare is popular and fully ingrained in the U.S. health system. Close to 60 percent of adults now have a favorable opinion of it, according to a KFF tracking poll.
Biden campaign spokesman Ammar Moussa indicated the White House is more than willing to make the Affordable Care Act a focal point of the reelection campaign.
“40 million people – more than 1 in 10 Americans – have health insurance today because of the Affordable Care Act and Donald Trump just said he would try to rip it away if he returns to power. He was one vote away from getting it done when he was president – and we should take him at his word that he’ll try to do it again,” Moussa said in a statement.
“Donald Trump’s America is one where millions of people lose their health insurance and seniors and families across the country face exorbitant costs just to stay healthy. Those are the stakes next November,” he added.
Updated at 12:04 p.m.