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Trump says 'inaction is not an option' after GOP senators unveil last-gasp Obamacare repeal plan

  • President Trump criticizes Obamacare but does not appear to endorse a plan championed by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.
  • The senators introduced their last-ditch Obamacare repeal plan on Wednesday.
  • The GOP faces a Sept. 30 deadline to use budget rules to pass a health-care bill with only Republican votes.
President Donald Trump
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President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump weighed in on — but did not explicitly endorse — a last-ditch Obamacare repeal plan unveiled by multiple Republican senators on Wednesday.

The president, who had recently appeared to shift his focus to tax reform after the Senate failed to pass various forms of a health-care overhaul this summer, said he applauded the senators "for continuing to work toward a solution."

"As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option, and I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis," Trump said in a statement.

Trump's comments about the plan appear less forceful than those he made earlier in the year when he repeatedly urged senators to repeal President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, a top campaign promise.

Four GOP senators, led by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, introduced the long-shot plan earlier on Wednesday. It aims to get rid of subsidies and mandates under the Affordable Care Act, and instead give block grants to states to help to make coverage affordable.

Republican Senate leaders appear to have little interest in pushing forward with the health-care plan. The GOP faces a Sept. 30 deadline to use budget reconciliation for fiscal year 2017 and will lose its ability to pass a health-care bill with only the 52 Republican senators at that time.

Graham cast the plan as the last, best hope to roll back Obamacare. He also described it as the only thing standing between the United States and a single-payer health care, which independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and various Democrats will put their weight behind Wednesday.