President Donald Trump indicated Friday he believed the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was designed to fail when former President Barack Obama left office.
In a meeting with House GOP leaders on Friday, the president cited as proof of the law’s collapse increasing premiums and fewer insurer choices in the individual exchanges where people without employer-based on government insurance can find coverage.
Trump went on to suggest this was the intent all along.
2017 “would be a disaster for Obamacare,” Trump said. “That’s the year it was meant to explode, because Obama won’t be here. That’s when it was supposed to be, get even worse. As bad as it is now, it will get even worse.”
Trump’s comments echo many prominent Republicans who have said the ACA is “collapsing” or in a “death spiral.” Obamacare critics have suggested that the law was intentionally designed to fail to allow Democrats to pass a single-payer healthcare system.
Up until the end of his term, Obama was promoting the successes of the ACA (such as coverage for over 20 million Americans), advocating for more people to sign up for the plans through the law’s exchanges, and urging lawmakers to make changes to help stabilise the individual market.
Analysis by the Brookings Institution showed Obamacare did not qualify under the technical definition of a “death spiral” after the 2016-2017 open enrollment period.
Since the open-enrollment period, however, the Trump administration has issued regulatory changes for the ACA marketplaces and the GOP has introduced the AHCA, which has left the future of the exchanges in question.
Watch Trump’s full remarks below:
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