Trump Calls for Special Session of Congress to Repeal ObamaCare
Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he will call for a “special session” of Congress to repeal ObamCare if he wins the election.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 1, 2016
The Hill reports:
If he’s elected, Trump said, Republicans “will be able to immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare.”
“It’s one of the most important reasons why we must win on Nov. 8,” he said during a speech in Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground state.
It’s unclear why a special session would be required to roll back the law, because the new Congress would start work before the next president is inaugurated. Congress, however, is expected to hold a lame-duck session after the elections.
Republicans have been seizing on projected premium increases for insurance plans offered through the healthcare law in the final weeks of the campaign.
Trump pointed to his replacement plan, which includes many longtime Republican ideas such as allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, encouraging health savings accounts and making premiums tax deductible.
An analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that 21 million people would lose their health insurance under Trump’s plan. Only about 1 million people would gain coverage under his replacement, the study found.
Trump’s public statements, though, sometimes conflict with the healthcare plan outlined on his campaign website, confounding experts. He has repeatedly promised to “take care of everybody,” for example, yet his plan includes no major expansion of coverage.
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, introduced him and referred to a few new elements of Trump’s plan that have so far not been on the campaign’s website.
Pence said that the plan would include a “transition period” for people currently receiving ObamaCare subsidies, but he did not specify details like how long that period would last.
Pence also called for protecting people with pre-existing conditions if they are switching to a new plan. That would be a change from ObamaCare, which also does not allow companies to reject people with pre-existing conditions who are obtaining coverage for the first time.
Trump and Pence put their main focus on bashing premium increases under ObamaCare. The average increase for a benchmark plan is 25 percent; in Pennsylvania, it is 53 percent.
“In the future, if I’m president, there won’t be ObamaCare, so you won’t have to worry about it,” Trump said of the premium increases.
Trump Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has acknowledged costs are a problem and vowed to increase financial assistance to make coverage more affordable while arguing against repealing the law’s coverage gains for 20 million people.
Republicans say Clinton wants to double down on a failed system.
A handful of Republican doctors serving in Congress warmed up the crowd as the party seeks to present a unified front before Election Day. Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) and Reps. Tom Price (Ga.), Michael Burgess (Texas), Andy Harris (Md.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) spoke briefly to start the event.
And Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate turned Trump booster, welcomed Pence to the stage.
While healthcare remained the focus of the event, Trump only spent a few minutes on his plan before turning back to his stump speech. He promised to improve the climate for American miners and steelworkers, pointing to his stance against international trade deals. And he discussed his support for school choice, expanding the military and lowering taxes.
The Republican’s visit to Valley Forge was the second recent trip by the campaign to places that were pivotal in American wars. The Trump campaign argues the tide is turning in its direction in the final days of the campaign, just like it did for troops at these sites.
The harsh winter at Valley Forge helped to rally and train colonial troops during the American Revolution; while at Gettysburg, where Trump spoke last month, the North turned the tide against the South in the Civil War.
Photo credit: Twitter / Screenshot.