President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated” and told a group of governors that Obamacare is a “disaster” while also suggesting that the law’s popularity is rising because Americans know its end is near.
Trump has repeatedly promised to quickly repeal and replace Obamacare, the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act, but has at times appeared to flirt with the idea of just letting it collapse under its own weight.
Recently, he’s pledged to release his repeal-and-replace plan by early or mid-March, but on Monday he emphasized how difficult of a lift it will be, seeming to express surprise at the complexity of the reform process.
“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”
Republicans have long pledged to repeal Obamacare, which they blame for industry problems like increases in premiums and say represents government overreach, but are now running into trouble agreeing what to put in its place if they kill it. Some 20 million people depend on the law for their insurance, and Republicans worry about the backlash they may face if some of those people lose their coverage under a new plan.
On Monday, Trump also dismissed the growing popularity of Obamacare. Polls show the program’s approval rating climbing, Trump theorized, not because people like it, but because they know Republicans will soon repeal it. He did not offer more of an explanation for the claim.
“People hate it, but now they see that the end is coming, and they’re saying, ‘Oh, maybe we love it,’” Trump said. “There’s nothing to love. It’s a disaster, folks.”