Trump renews push to replace Affordable Care Act

Former President Donald Trump is taking to social media to renew calls for the replacement of the Affordable Care Act after a stretch of time in which the healthcare law was not a central issue in U.S. political campaigns. 

The 2022 elections were the first in more than a decade in which security of the Affordable Care Act, enacted by then-President Barack Obama in 2010, was not a central issue and the Republican Party cast aside its long-running campaign to repeal it. 

On Nov. 28, Mr. Trump took to Truth Social, the online platform under the Trump Media umbrella, to identify healthcare as one agenda item for his 2024 presidential campaign with plans to replace the landmark law if he wins a second term. 

Mr. Trump has opted to skip every Republican primary debate — including the fourth, scheduled for Dec. 6 — making his social media posts an atypical view into the leading GOP candidate's real-time agenda crafting.

"Getting much better Healthcare than Obamacare for the American people will be a priority of the Trump Administration," Mr. Trump wrote Nov. 28 on Truth Social. "It is not a matter of cost, it is a matter of HEALTH. America will have one of the best Healthcare Plans anywhere in the world. Right now it has one of the WORST!" 

A follow-up post one hour later from Mr. Trump read: "I don't want to terminate Obamacare, I want to REPLACE IT with MUCH BETTER HEALTHCARE. Obamacare Sucks!!!!" 

Mr. Trump did not provide details on replacement legislation. 

The message caught numerous Republican lawmakers off guard, The Hill reported. 

President Joe Biden's reelection team has indicated the White House is ready to make the ACA a focal point of the 2024 campaign. The president already tapped former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to warn about threats to the ACA, and his campaign is planning advertisements in battleground states that contrast Mr. Trump's "threats" to the law with Biden administration efforts to lower drug costs, Reuters was first to report. 

The ACA is the most challenged statute in American history, including its seven Supreme Court challenges in a decade, according to professors at Washington, D.C.-based Georgetown University. Most recently, in 2021, the Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge to the ACA, in which plaintiffs argued that the law should be struck down due to the 2017 elimination of the ACA's tax penalty.

At the time of the Republicans' push for a "skinny repeal" of the ACA in 2017, Newsweek identified at least 70 GOP-led attempts to repeal, modify or limit the Affordable Care Act since its inception.

In May 2023, 59% of Americans held a favorable opinion of the ACA and 40% held an unfavorable opinion, according to polling from KFF. Broken down by political parties, 77% of Republicans held unfavorable views and 85% of Democrats held favorable views. (More than 10 years of polling conducted by KFF on the ACA can be found here.)

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