A sign on an insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, San Diego, California, U.S., October 26, 2017.
The court has upheld much of the law previously, and should it be undone in its entirety, about 20 million Americans who have insurance under the law could be left in the lurch, a political and policy reality the White House has yet to prepare for, aides acknowledged.
"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" "It's too expensive by far", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. When asked by Kamala Harris if he would reconsider the DOJ approach to Obamacare, he said he would "like to review the department's position on that case". "And if we ignore both of those areas, and hope that the 2020 elections will be better somehow, without addressing real problems?"
A federal judge ruled Thursday that a Trump administration measure expanding association health insurance plans allowed participants to illegally escape certain Affordable Care Act regulations. In a tweet in October 2016, he said, "We will have MUCH less expensive and MUCH better healthcare".
The 2010 healthcare law, seen as the signature domestic achievement of Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, has been a flashpoint of American politics since its passage, with Republicans, including Trump, repeatedly attempting to overturn it.
But there's no indication that the White House, executive branch agencies like Health and Human Services or Republicans in Congress are working on a comprehensive plan.
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Trump predicted on Tuesday that would change, saying Republicans "will soon be known as the party of healthcare". The GOP proposals that have been offered in Congress would weaken those safeguards.
Many within and outside of the Republican party questioned the Trump administration's decision to switch gears to health care just days after the long-awaited news from the Mueller investigation that Trump celebrated Sunday. The elimination of Obamacare would send health insurance premiums soaring and revoke coverage for tens of millions of people, he said. Bernie Sanders (an independent who is running for president in the 2020 Democratic primary) favors a single payer or Medicare-for-all program.
Democrats, on the other hand, rejoiced.
On other policy issues, Republicans have been exploring ways to reach across the aisle to make progress on reducing the cost of prescription drugs.
"We are working very hard on that", said Trump as he was heading out to the MI rally, singling out Republican senators John Barrasso, Rick Scott and Bill Cassidy among those involved.
"All I'm going to say about that for a while is that I'm eager to see what the administration proposes", he said Wednesday.
Republican Senator Charles Grassley said, "We would have to act accordingly" if the Supreme Court dismantles Obamacare, but he noted there might not be any definitive court action until next year. Usually tight-lipped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was given little advance notice of the president's new push, spoke volumes when asked about it. Because of the core political belief of the Republican Party that government has to be greatly reduced in size and numerous programs it supports like the Affordable Care Act must be repealed to accomplish this.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates blocked a rule that was finalized past year that allows small businesses and self-employed people to band together to purchase insurance known as association health plans. He pledged to "always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions".