After watching the Better Care Act fail in the Senate this week, President Donald Trump said he was "disappointed" and vowed to keep the responsibility for a failing healthcare system where it belongs: with Democrats.
"I'm disappointed, very disappointed. For so many years I've been hearing repeal and replace," Trump said. "Let Obamacare fail and then everyone will have to come together to fix it."
"Let Obamacare fail, it'll be a lot easier," he continued. "We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you Republicans are not going to own it. Let Obamacare fail and then Democrats are going to come to us asking 'How do we fix it?'"
But that doesn't mean the White House is giving up efforts on repeal. Plan b is to have Senators vote on a clean repeal of Obamacare, something 48 of them supported just two years ago. At least four Republicans, three who voted for the repeal in 2015, have said they aren't interested in repeal without a replacement bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued Wednesday a vote on repeal only would give the Senate two years to come up with a better, possibly bipartisan replacement plan.
But despite the seeming opposition, the White House is still pushing for a deal and President Trump will host skeptical Senators for lunch on Wednesday.
I will be having lunch at the White House today with Republican Senators concerning healthcare. They MUST keep their promise to America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
The Republicans never discuss how good their healthcare bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime.The Dems scream death as OCare dies!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Tuesday the focus in the coming weeks will be on another one of President Trump's big ticket items: tax reform.
"Tomorrow the Ways and Means Committee will hold another tax reform meeting. This one focuses on the need to simplify the tax code for families. Under the status quo, we have a complicated system," Ryan said. "We want to simplify the tax code and bring down rates to get people real relief and real peace of mind. To set the stage for tax reform, we're working on a balanced budget."