Trump says he's considering keeping parts of Obamacare

As the Republican president-elect softens his stance on the Affordable Care Act, his supporters are vigilantly waiting for Trump to proceed with his promises, some threatening to withdraw support if he decides to run again in four years.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Donald Trump said he was willing to preserve at least two provisions of the law after President Barack Obama asked him to reconsider repealing it during their meeting at the White House on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

President-elect Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) he is considering retaining parts of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. This includes provisions letting parents keep adult children up to age 26 on insurance policies and barring insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

“I like those very much,” Trump told WSJ.

The Republican businessman during the US presidential campaign called for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and labelled the 2010 law "a disaster." His voters have said they are “watching” Trump to see if he acts on his campaign promises and are expecting a quick repeal of Obamacare.  

In an interview published on Friday, his first since winning Tuesday's election, Trump told the WSJ a big reason for his shift was his meeting at the White House on Thursday with Obama, who suggested areas of the Affordable Care Act to preserve.

Some Republican lawmakers and advisers have recommended keeping those two provisions in place even if they are able to repeal the law in Congress, as they have attempted to do for years.

The law has enabled millions of Americans who previously had no health insurance to obtain coverage, but Republicans oppose it and call it a government overreach.

Other urgent priorities during his first few weeks as president, Trump said, would be deregulating financial institutions to allow "banks to lend again;” investors expect banks to reap huge benefits from rising interest rates and lighter regulation.

Trump also told the WSJ he would create jobs through infrastructure projects and improved trade deals. American jobs could be preserved, he said, by potentially imposing tariffs on the products of US companies that relocated overseas.

“Break campaign promises at your peril”

While anti-Trump protests are expected to continue over the weekend, his supporters are waiting for Trump to proceed which his promises.

"We expect him to move forward on all the items he has promised to move forward on," said Kathryn Stellmack, 69, a retiree in West Palm Beach, Florida.

After voting vote for him, she expects Trump to toughen immigration laws, restore lost jobs, upend a corrupt political system, build a wall on the US-Mexican border, and be, as the millionaire put it, the "greatest jobs president that God has ever created."

"And if he doesn't, we will hold his feet to the fire."

Trump's promises have been hard to pin down. NBC News identified 141 "distinct shifts" on 23 major issues since Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015.

Still, his fiery rhetoric had an unmistakable message of ending big government and the entrenched power of establishment elites in both parties.

"I totally trust him," said Laura Czarniak, 56, of Manistee, Michigan, a Rust Belt state that leans Democrat in presidential elections but which flipped to Trump on Tuesday.

"I know he'll build the wall. I know he'll take care of the Syrian refugee problem. I know he'll get rid of Obamacare. There is not a chance in hell he won't do those things," she said.

Mark Morris, a leader of the Colorado-based Three Percent United Patriots militia group, said he understood Trump would need time on some issues, but he expected quick movement on repealing Obamacare and appointing a conservative Supreme Court justice to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia.

He said he hoped Trump would stand with ranchers in their disputes with the federal government over fees charged for cattle grazing on public land – a call to arms for many in the patriot and militia movement. Otherwise, Morris said, Trump should not expect any support if intends to run again after four years.

For many activists in the anti-abortion movement who are suspicious Trump's promises are fuelled by politics more than conviction, he still has plenty to prove.

"For us, the most important thing will be to hold him to his campaign promises, particularly on the Supreme Court. We want to be sure he is true to his word," Jeanne Mancini, president of the anti-abortion group March for Life Education and Defense Fund said of Trump's vow to appoint justices who will vote to overturn Roe vs Wade, the 1973 decision legalising abortion.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies