President Donald Trump on Wednesday encouraged an effort by several Republican senators to craft a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, a years-long pledge that has eluded the GOP despite their control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin earlier Wednesday introduced legislation to repeal “the structure and architecture of Obamacare” and replace it with a block grant given to states annually. Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was also present.
According to a statement released by Graham’s office, the bill would repeal the 2010 law’s individual and employer mandates and medical device tax, increase states’ ability to waive Obamacare regulations, protect patients with preexisting medical conditions, and provide states and patients “an equitable block grant distribution.”
“I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people,” Trump said in a statement. “My administration has consistently worked to enact legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare, and that can pass the Senate and make it to my desk.”
Trump called Obamacare “a complete nightmare” with “skyrocketing healthcare premiums, deductibles and canceled or shrinking plans.”
“As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option,” he continued, without explicitly endorsing the measure unveiled on Wednesday. “And I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis.”
The Senate parliamentarian ruled earlier this month that Republicans have until Sept. 30 to repeal or replace the health care law with a simple majority.