- Getty Images/Pool
President Donald Trump on Monday defended the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, comparing Obamacare’s increasing popularity to that of the president after whom it is named.
“The press is making it look so wonderful, so if we end it, everyone is going to say, ‘Oh, remember how great Obamacare used to be? Remember how wonderful it used to be? It was so great,'” Trump said.
“It’s a little bit like President Obama: When he left, people liked him; when he was here, people didn’t like him so much. That’s the way life goes. That’s human nature.”
Recent polls have shown that Obamacare has hit its highest popularity point while appetite for repeal has shrunk. This is similar to Obama’s approval ratings, which hit their highest levels in his last few months in office.
The president also reiterated his talking point that pushing the American Health Care Act – the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare – was not the best political choice for Republicans.
“And the Republicans are, frankly, putting themselves in a very bad position – I tell this to Tom Price all the time – about repealing Obamacare, because people aren’t going to see the truly devastating effects of Obamacare,” Trump said, referring to the health and human services secretary. “They’re not going to see the devastation in ’17 and ’18 and ’19 – it’ll be gone by then.”
Additionally, Trump touted the AHCA as a way to unleash creativity among insurers in the types of plans they offer.
“You’ll have plans that no one is even thinking of today,” Trump said. “We will have plans that today no one is even thinking about, because the market is going to enforce that with millions and millions of people wanting healthcare.”
Trump also promised that the plan would “bring down the cost of care,” but said it would “take a little while to get there” if the law were enacted.
The meeting, held with a group of Americans who had been hurt by the increasing costs of Obamacare, comes as Trump and Republicans try to build support for the AHCA after early criticisms from across the political spectrum.