Over the years, even prior to announcing he would run for a position in the White House, President Donald Trump has been nothing but vocal when it comes to his thoughts on how health care should work in the U.S. In his book, The America We Deserve, Trump wrote in July 2000:
Flash forward to 2014, when Trump was by then a clear opponent to President Barack Obama's now-established Affordable Care Act. In a tweet, Trump referenced how many Americans were being poorly impacted by the ACA:
The irony? New data from the Congressional Budget Office suggested Thursday that 14 million fewer people would have health insurance in 2018, should the GOP-proposed American Health Care Act be signed into law. Twenty-four million fewer Americans would be insured by 2026, and by 2026, an estimated total of 52 million people nationally would lack health coverage if the revised bill became law, according to the CBO's projection.
By 2015, Trump's stance on health care was more clear. During his announcement speech to become a presidential hopeful, he said the health-care bill put in place by President Obama had to be replaced, "and we can do it." (Or could he?):
Repeal and replace! On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump had this to say during a presidential debate hosted by Fox News:
On Friday Trump tweeted:
Shortly after, news came Friday afternoon that the Obamacare replacement bill that Trump heavily campaigned on was pulled, no longer being considered on the floor of the House — an agreement he reportedly made with House Speaker Paul Ryan just hours before a vote was scheduled to take place among Republicans.
Speaker Ryan has weighed in a time or two on health care, too. In an interview in 2014 the then representative from Wisconsin had this to say about the current state of health care, and how he would change it:
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has fought long and hard beside President Trump of late to repeal and replace Obamacare. Health care is something that has been on McConnell's radar for years. In a 2014 campaign ad, McConnell boasted about supporting government-sponsored health care.
The fear at the time was that existing state-run Obamacare marketplaces could, in the coming years, end up turning enrollment operations in private insurance plans over fully to the federally run HealthCare.gov. Over the years, the website suffered many technical failures.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who has said he was skeptical about the recent Ryan-backed Obamacare replacement bill, had health care on his mind during an address to party members in 2014:
"I don't see enough reforms that will actually bring down the premiums," Johnson said in 2017 regarding the American Health Care Act bill being proposed. And he was right — it hasn't been enough for many fellow Republicans, who didn't get the chance to vote on the health-care proposal Friday.
Politicians haven't been the only ones weighing in on the Obamacare vs no Obamacare debate. Here's what Warren Buffett had to say in 2010, in an interview with CNBC, before the ACA became law, when proposals were being tossed back and forth in the Senate:
Now that Obamacare is to stay — at least for much of 2017 — President Trump and Speaker Ryan will have to try to rally more support around a replacement bill that everyone can agree on.