President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the Israel Museum, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump blames Democrats because Republicans couldn't agree on a health care bill

President makes totally contradictory statements about the future of health care. What a surprise


Jeremy Binckes
July 18, 2017 1:30PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump is reacting on Twitter to reports that his health care bill — the Obamacare replacement bill that he made the cornerstone of his campaign — will fail in the Senate, because four Republican senators have now said they will not support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's bill.

Not surprisingly, he's blaming Democrats for his party's failings, and telling Republicans to simply pass a straight repeal bill instead.

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But as Vox reporter Jeff Stein reported Tuesday, Trump "has not held a single meeting with Senate Democrats on health care." Trump also appears to have changed his mind multiple times on what he wanted to do after repealing the Affordable Care Act, going from "repeal and replace" to "just repeal," mixed with the fallback plan of doing nothing whatsoever and a vague promise of something great coming together further down the road.

That wasn't what he always said. Last year during the presidential campaign, Trump made a clear promised to replace the ACA. As recently as March of this year, he proclaimed that the health care deal would be an "easy one."

And, as NBC News reporter Bradd Jaffy noted, "repeal and replace" was a key aspect of Trump's stump speeches on the campaign trail.

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Democrats weren't the only target of Trump's ire, however. Trump said that "a few Republicans" were responsible for the "let down." Those Republicans is likely include Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake of Arizona, the two most vulnerable GOP incumbents up for re-election in 2018. Last month, a Trump-aligned group, America First Policies, announced it would launch a $1 million TV and radio ad campaign against Heller for his stance against the Senate's bill. In Arizona, White House officials have reportedly begun looking at conservatives who might be willing to launch a primary campaign against Flake.

This would be a fine opportunity to note that the president said multiple times that fixing health care would be "so easy" while on the campaign trail.

"I have no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly," Trump said in May, when the Senate's first attempt at passing a new health care bill stalled.

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Jeremy Binckes

Jeremy Binckes is the senior news editor at Salon.com.

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