One of the hallmarks of Donald Trump's rallies throughout his campaign was calling for the swift repeal and replacement of former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. But on Sunday, Trump extended himself a bit of a longer runway to land an overhaul of American health care on.
During an interview that aired before Super Bowl LI, Trump was noncommittal when asked by FOX News' Bill O'Reilly if Americans can expect Obamacare to be replaced within the calendar year. "In the process, and maybe it'll take until sometime into next year, but we are certainly gonna be in the process. Very complicated," Trump said. Trump then reiterated that Obamacare is a "disaster" and that it "doesn't work."
He also continued to allow the repeal of Obamacare to carry over into 2018 saying, "I would like to say, by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year." While campaigning across the nation in 2015 and 2016, Trump called the repeal and replacement of Obamacare a top priority if he were to win the presidency. For many of his voters, his plans around health care reform continue to be a main reason they support him.
"When we win on Nov. 8th and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare," Trump said during a speech in Pennsylvania days before clinching his election victory. In recent weeks, the debate over health care has seemingly become even more complicated as some Republicans, who previously opposed Obamacare, reportedly now are pushing to repair parts of the act instead of engaging in a full repeal.
On Sunday, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan shot down reports claiming there was a movement toward repairing Obamacare, saying Republicans still plan on a full repeal and replacement of the bill. "Somewhere along the line, there was confusion that we were going to take the Obamacare architecture and, you know, tinker at the margins and repair it," said Ryan. "You can't. It is a collapsing law."