- President Donald Trump says, "We'll just let Obamacare fail" after the latest setback for Republican Obamacare repeal-and-replace efforts.
- A push to repeal Obamacare first and replace it later quickly fizzled out.
A "disappointed" President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to "let Obamacare fail" after the latest Republican attempt to overhaul the U.S. health-care system quickly fizzled out.
"Let Obamacare fail; it'll be a lot easier," Trump told reporters on Tuesday. "And I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail."
"We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us and they're going to say, 'How do we fix it? How do we fix it?' Or, 'How do we come up with a new plan?'"
Republicans' new push to repeal Obamacare without implementing an immediate replacement appeared to stall Tuesday as three GOP senators said they would not vote for it to move forward, for now. It followed the latest bill to replace Obamacare also collapsing on Monday night as four Republicans opposed it.
Trump has lobbied for Congress to pass an Obamacare replacement that he can sign. But he has at times contradicted himself on what he wants and seemed disengaged from the policy specifics.
The GOP's effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, a Republican campaign promise for most of the last decade, has stalled multiple times this year amid party divisions. The GOP chose to address the health-care overhaul before it took on tax reform, another key campaign plank, and every setback is seen as delaying the party's broader agenda.
Trump said Tuesday that he does not think a health-care overhaul is "dead."
"We have to go to a much less expensive plan in terms of premiums, and something will happen and it'll be very good. It may not be as quick as we had hoped, but it's going to happen. OK?" Trump said.
McConnell insisted Tuesday that he still wants to vote on a repeal-only bill in the "near future."
Trump appeared to deflect blame for the setbacks. He said "it would be nice to have Democratic support" and called the party's senators "obstructionists" for not getting behind the plan.
"And in this case, think of it: so many good things, we didn't get one vote and their plan has failed," Trump said.
He added that he thinks mustering 48 Republican votes — which was not enough to reach a majority — was "pretty impressive" by "any standard."
When asked Tuesday who she thinks is responsible for the health-care bill failing, White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded: "I would say Democrats."
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer again urged Republicans to work with Democrats on passing a plan to stabilize insurance markets and lower costs. He contended that passing a repeal without a replacement "would be a disaster" and cause the health-care system to "implode."
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate committee that oversees health care issues, said Tuesday that he will push to hold hearings on the best ways to stabilize the individual insurance market "however the vote comes out" on the health-care bill.