The Promise: Repeal and Replace Obamacare, Cover Everyone, Preserve Entitlements

“Repeal and replace with something terrific,” Trump said of the Affordable Care Act, telling crowds repeatedly that whatever insurance plan he came up with would be way better than the current program, which he trashed for rising premiums.

Additionally, he promised in an interview with the Washington Post that “we’re going to have insurance for everybody,” and also vowed to tackle drug costs by dealing with pharmaceutical companies. 

Trump's pledge to dismantle the ACA, at least, made for a rallying cry that even mainstream Republicans could wholeheartedly get behind, but the GOP has struggled to move forward. Any health care system passed by Republicans would earn the party blame for any problems that arose from its inevitable flaws. A replacement, Trump said over and over again, would have to be immediate to avoid a coverage gap that would leave millions uninsured, but Republicans have yet to offer up a clear alternative. 

Trump also insisted during his bid that he would not to touch entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, breaking with much of his party who advocate reforming entitlements. 

We'll watch to see how Trump sticks to his promise to leave entitlements alone — particularly since his party has long supported reforms to the programs — and whether he's able to push through a new health care law at the same time as he repeals Obamacare that truly covers "everybody."

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Status: Stalled action

Trump vowed a speedy repeal of his predecessor’s signature health care law countless times during the campaign, promising to replace it with “something better” that would lower costs, wouldn't cut Medicaid or take away anyone's insurance.

According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and policy experts, the American Health Care Act, the House bill his Republican caucus proposed and Trump endorsed as a way to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act and replace it, would have broken all of those campaign promises. The CBO estimated that more people would lose their insurance under the GOP’s proposed replacement than if the party simply repealed Obamacare, and moderate Republicans in the House refused to support it in part because the cuts to Medicaid were too deep. More conservative Republicans, meanwhile, were frustrated that it didn't repeal the law in its entirety. With Democrats united in their opposition and Republicans divided in their support, GOP leaders pulled the bill from consideration.

Trump has said he’s not done working to get a repeal bill — he has gone as far as to threaten to deprive the the ACA of funding in order to tank the existing program — and Republican members of Congress have publicly bounced around ideas for a compromise.

Still, 100 days in, Obamacare remains law.

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