WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will have a policy plan that is “far better."
Obamacare was "far too expensive for the people, not only for the country,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a press event Wednesday morning.
Trump also called President Barack Obama’s signature legislation a “disaster” and something “we can’t live with in this country.”
Trump has not provided details about what health care plan would replace the Affordable Care Act.
His comments Wednesday came two days after his administration called for the entirety of the ACA to be struck down.
Although the administration has called for changes to the ACA before, the announcement by the Justice Department on Monday was a significant change in policy, and represented an opportunity for Democrats to shift the conversation back toward health care.
On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced an amendment to a disaster relief funding bill that would block the Department of Justice from using any funding to litigate the "downfall of the ACA."
"Let's see if all of Republican colleagues who have said they don't want to take away protections for pre-existing conditions, who said they don't want to take away health care for millions, who said they want to lower seniors' drug costs, let’s see how our Republican colleagues vote on this," Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told NBC News she was "very disappointed in and vehemently opposed to the administration seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act," adding that "the answer is for the administration to work with Congress and present a plan to replace and fix the law, not to through the courts seek to invalidate it altogether."
There appeared to even be some disagreement among White House advisers on whether or not Trump should go after the ACA via the court. White House officials characterized the internal debate to NBC News as a "cordial disagreement" that was ultimately left to the president's choice. Officials did acknowledge that there was no ready-to-go plan in place should Trump be successful in his efforts to repeal the ACA.
Republicans have tried and failed to repeal the ACA dozens of times without a replacement in place, most recently in 2017. If the ACA were to land in the Supreme Court again, as the Trump administration hopes, it would be the court’s third time hearing a case related to the law's constitutionality.
CORRECTION (March 27, 1:10 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when the administration said it was seeking that the entire Affordable Care Act be struck down. It was Monday, not Tuesday.