The White House has no “fresh” plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, despite the administration backing a district court ruling striking down the full law earlier this week, a senior White House official told CNN Wednesday.
However, the administration plans to submit a health care replacement to Congress this year, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“The President will be putting forward plans this year that we hope to introduce into Congress,” Marc Short told Blitzer. “But, the reality is the court decision is likely not until the summer of 2020, by the time it would reach the Supreme Court.”
“We don’t know how they would rule,” Short said. “The President has said repeatedly he would not sign any law unless it would protect pre-existing conditions.”
On Monday, the Trump administration said the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down, in a dramatic reversal. The Justice Department said in a filing with a federal appeals court that it agreed with the ruling of a federal judge in Texas that invalidated the Obama-era health care law.
The decision came after an internal debate about how to proceed in the wake of a December court ruling that invalidated the entire Affordable Care Act. Trump’s Justice Department moved to back the court’s decision. But that decision – while important in terms of keeping a campaign promise to the President’s base – has highlighted the administration’s lack of health care policy going forward.
Asked whether the White House has a proposal for replacing Obamacare in the event the law is struck down in court, a senior White House official told CNN not as of yet. The official pointed to the proposal from Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, the previous Obamacare repeal bill which was ultimately unsuccessful.
“But nothing fresh from the White House yet,” the official conceded.
When, and if, a proposal does come together, it’s all but certain to fail in the Democrat-controlled House.
CNN’s Abby Phillip contributed to this report.