- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 28, 2019

President Trump said he’s tasked specific Senate Republicans to form a “really great” health care plan, saying the GOP is “winning” a state-driven lawsuit against Obamacare and that Congress needs to prep a replacement in case the program is struck down.

He’s told Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rick Scott of Florida and others to draft a proposal.

“We will take care of pre-existing conditions better than they’re taken now,” he told reporters as he left the White House. “And I’ve already gotten rid of the individual mandate, which was the worst part of Obamacare, where you had to pay for the privilege of not getting bad insurance.”

Administration lawyers told a federal appeals court this week that they will not defend any part of Obamacare, after a lower court in Texas said Congress’ decision to gut the individual mandate should topple the rest of the law, including its vast expansion of Medicaid and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

It’s a major escalation in the court fight. Previously, the administration said the courts should only invalidate the consumer protections for sicker Americans.

Mr. Trump on Thursday said Obamacare will be “terminated” in the courts and that “maybe” House Democrats will sign onto the GOP alternative.

That’s highly unlikely. Democrats are relishing Mr. Trump’s drift back to health care, saying Democrats were able to retake the House after the GOP tried and failed to replace Obamacare with something better in 2017. They said a second attempt will be an “anchor” around the necks of Republicans heading into 2020.

“The Republican Party will become the party that ended your health care,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

The White House says Democrats have already given them the upper hand by floating a government-run, single-payer plan that would supplant private insurance.

“Obamacare is a total disaster and Democrats know it,” said press secretary Sarah Sanders. “They sold Obamacare on lies and empty promises, and after years of implementation, it has completely failed the American people — costs exploded, options vanished and patients suffered.”

She said the Democrats’ “Medicare for All” plan is a “radical idea” that “would force a complete and total government takeover of the health care system.”

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