U.S. House condemns Trump's courtroom efforts to end Obamacare

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

And with that, a triumphant Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to close the book Tuesday on a divisive Republican debate, convincing President Donald Trump to shelve plans to replace the Affordable Care Act until after the 2020 election.

Reversing himself in the face of Republican consternation, Mr. Trump said his party would not produce a health care plan of its own, as he had promised, until after the elections, meaning he will only try to fulfill his first-term promise to repeal and replace his predecessor's signature program if he wins a second term.

They insist that they're working on a plan like busy little bees, and the vice president's chief of staff says "the president will be putting forward plans this year" - plural! - but no one is contradicting Trump on his assertion that the phantom plan will not become a legislative reality until 2021.

Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge nominated to the Supreme Court by Obama, failed to get a Senate hearing, and Republicans stalled numerous other Obama judicial nominees - both when the GOP was in the minority and then after retaking the Senate in 2015.

Congressional Republicans were caught off guard by Trump's rapid shift to focus on healthcare last week, which was set off by his abrupt decision to direct the Justice Department to intervene in a federal court case seeking to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety on constitutional grounds. In December 2018 the Republican tax law repealed the penalty for not buying health insurance, but left the other reforms in place. "It will be on full display during the Election as a much better & less expensive alternative to ObamaCare", Trump tweeted.

The survey also showed that more than two-thirds of Republicans and Democrats said they are "not at all confident" that elected officials will be able to work together to reduce healthcare costs. They have happily seized on the issue again after having won control of the House last November while campaigning heavily on strengthening Obamacare. He said that Trump "insists he has a magic plan that we can see if only the American people re-elect him".

But on Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that he had told Trump just that. One would think that ample time for a party that really cared about health care to have come up with an actual plan.

What happens when the Trump-supported lawsuit makes the Affordable Care Act disappear? "We have to take that away from them".

"If you don't support it, you have no chance of winning", Trump said.

Central to the Republican replacement of Obamacare is going to be protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

"Quit focusing on repeal until you've got something that the American public is going to trust", he said.

After Trump dropped the issue on Republicans last week, many hoped it would just go away.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota, said the president "has some big ideas and, to his credit, wants to solve problems". That means, regardless of where you get your health insurance, if you have a pre-existing condition, you will be paying a lot more - if you can even get an insurance company to cover you.

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