Trump to Wall Street Journal: Maybe We'll Keep Obamacare Around

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses during a meeting with members of the National Border Patrol Council at Trump Tower, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

For months leading up to the election, Trump’s faithful pressed that of all the amazing and wonderful things a Trump presidency would deliver, one of those things would be the end of the Affordable Care Act… aka… Obamacare.


Anyone who has had to deal with Obamacare can tell you, without a doubt, that it is anything but “affordable.”

Yeah. About that.

President-elect Donald Trump said that, after conferring with President Barack Obama, he would consider leaving in place certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, an indication of possible compromise after a campaign in which he pledged repeatedly to repeal the 2010 health law.

In his first interview since his election earlier this week, Mr. Trump said one priority was moving “quickly” on the president’s signature health initiative, which he argued has become so unworkable and expensive that “you can’t use it.”

Yet, Mr. Trump also showed a willingness to preserve at least two provisions of the health law after the president asked him to reconsider repealing it during their meeting at the White House on Thursday

Mr. Trump said he favors keeping the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of patients’ existing conditions, and a provision that allows parents to provide years of additional coverage for children on their insurance policies.

So the whole thing about repealing Obamacare is pretty much off the table, it seems. He’s going to “make adjustments.” That’s not a repeal.

He did go on to say that some of his priorities would be deregulating banks to allow for lending and securing that border.

A priority, but he didn’t really say what the plan was. The expected check to begin construction on the border wall hasn’t come in, yet.


He said he would create jobs through nationwide infrastructure projects and improved international trade deals. He also said he would preserve American jobs by potentially imposing tariffs on products of U.S. companies that relocate overseas, thereby reducing the incentive to move plants abroad.

That sounds “shovel-ready.” I’ve heard the phrase before, but I can’t quite remember where.

The tariffs will likely kill the economy by driving up the price on goods, but until it happens, let’s just keep acting like Trump was a fine choice. It makes his fan base happy and it keeps everybody else off the ledge for another day.

He deflected a question on whether he would follow up on a campaign vow to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate his election opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, over her use of a private email server while secretary of state: “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform.”

Shorter: He had no intention of going after his friend, once the election was over.

Mr. Trump declined to identify a single top priority upon taking office, saying: “I have a lot of first priorities.”

He did say, though, that he would rely heavily on his vice president-elect, Mike Pence, who had a decade of experience in Congress before becoming Indiana’s governor. “Mike will have a big role. He’s very capable,” Mr. Trump said.

He said he wanted Mr. Pence to handle “different areas of policy” and “be very much involved in health care.” He also said Mr. Pence would serve as his “liaison” with Congress, adding that he and House Speaker Paul Ryan are friends.

On foreign affairs, Mr. Trump said he has spoken with or heard from most leaders except Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that a phone call between them is scheduled shortly.


So Pence will be doing all the heavy lifting. I’m glad he got a “beautiful” letter from his man-crush, though.

I’m sure that will go a long way in dispelling the uncomfortable rumors of collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin.

He also suggested replacing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should not be a priority, but rather the focus should be on ridding the planet of ISIS.

If he sticks to his past suggestions, he would rather we align with, or just let Russia take the lead there.


With midterm elections in 2018, Republicans are faced with a real dilemma.

Can they hold on to the majority in the House if Trump proves either ineffective, or as the GOP version of Obama, making no actual moves to keep any of his campaign promises?

Their refusal to stop him when they had the chance may come back to bite them, yet.



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