By: Robert Donachie
Former President Barack Obama told donors Thursday night at a fundraiser in Los Angeles that he gave Trump some advice about Obamacare: just change the name and take the credit.
“I said to the incoming president, ‘Just change the name and claim that you made these wonderful changes,’ and I would be like, ‘You go,’” the former president reportedly said. “Because I didn’t have pride of authorship, I just wanted people to have health care.”
Trump made repealing and replacing Obamacare a key part of his successful bid for the presidency in 2016, but he has, thus far, been unable to materialize that goal.
House Republicans were able to pass a bill — the American Health Care Act — in May 2017, after a few months of rocky negotiations that nearly stopped the effort in its track.
Senate Republicans had a more difficult time, given their 52, and subsequently slim 51, seat majority in the upper chamber. The Senate tried roughly a handful of times in 2017 to repeal and replace Obamacare, offering up a “skinny repeal” in July 2017 with no replacement as a last-ditch effort to overhaul the American health care system. That, too, failed to pass muster within the entirety of either the Republican or Democratic conferences.
Ultimately, Republicans and the White House have moved on from repealing and replacing Obamacare, although a coalition of outside conservative groups have hopes of reviving the debate in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he is ready to move on from the issue, but he has said he would entertain a proposal that was guaranteed to get enough votes to pass.
Senate Republicans, led by Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, put forth a list of proposals in May that aim to lower prescription drug costs, increase price transparency in the health care marketplace and other measures that Republicans could pick up in 2018.
The White House is also acutely focused on lowering the price of drugs for American consumers.
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