Now that the White House has done its requisite Robert Mueller victory lap, President Donald Trump is turning his laser-like focus onto something totally new, by which I mean, the same dead horse he’s been helplessly beating for the past two years: Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Yes, again.
After Trump’s Department of Justice sided with a federal judge’s ruling in Texas to strike down Obamacare entirely, Trump spent his Tuesday reportedly urging Republican senators to do, well, something about healthcare. What that is, exactly, is somewhat unclear.
“The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of healthcare,” Trump told reporters before heading into a Senate GOP lunch, adding “you watch.” However, once safely behind closed doors, the president apparently flubbed on articulating what that would actually mean, reportedly leaving some senators confused as to what he wants beyond making it cheaper and protecting pre-existing conditions.
The reaction from at least some Senate Republicans seemed, uh, muted, at best.
“It’s really too early for us to know what the court is going to say,” Sen. Roy Blunt told the Washington Examiner. “That is going to make a difference in how we might move forward.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham framed the president’s vague directive as a must-have for the upcoming 2o20 election, after Republicans got thoroughly trounced on the issue in 2018.
“I think if we don’t have a proposal on health care that’s a mistake going into 2020,” Graham told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting.
What will that proposal be? How will it be different from the GOP’s many, many past efforts? How do Republicans plan to pass new healthcare legislation with a a split Congress, when they couldn’t even do it when they had the majority in both the House and the Senate? These are all great questions which nobody seems able to answer yet.