Trump: ‘Single-Payer Will Bankrupt Our Country’

Susan Jones | July 20, 2017 | 6:08am EDT
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President Trump invites Senate Republicans to lunch at the White House on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 to discuss the way forward on health care. Send me a bill, he insisted. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( – “We're in this room today to deliver on our promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare and to ensure that they have the health care that they need,” President Trump told Republican senators at a White House luncheon on Wednesday.

“We have no choice. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Trump said Republicans are “so close” to getting the job done, even without a single vote from Democrats:

The way I looked at it, we have no Democrat help. They're obstructionists. That's all they're good at is obstruction. They have no ideas. They've gone so far left, they're looking for single-payer, that's what they want.

But single-payer will bankrupt our country, because it's more than we take in for just health care. So single-payer is never going to work, but that's what they'd like to do. They have no idea what the consequence will be, and it will be horrible, horrible health care, where you'll wait on line for weeks to even see a doctor.

Trump described Obamacare as a “big lie,” as he listed all of its adverse elements, including rising premiums and collapsing insurance markets.

“But I'm ready to act,” the president told senators. "For seven years, you promised that you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option. And frankly, I don't think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give our people great healthcare. Because we're close; we're very close.”

Trump told the Republican senators that anyone who votes against starting debate on the Republican health care bill “is really telling America that you're fine with Obamacare.”

He said a vote to allow debate will allow senators to suggest ways of improving the bill.

He describe the Republican plan as not just a “good plan,” but a “great plan.” “This is far better than Obamacare and more generous than Obamacare,” he insisted.

Then he ran down a list of the Republican plan’s highlights, which a Republican senator helped him compile:

"Now, with John Cornyn the other night, we had a couple of things that we put down on paper. I'm just going to read them really fast…”

-- “Repeals the individual mandate. How big is that?”

-- “Repeals job-killing employer mandate. How big is that?”

-- "Will substantially lower premiums" (and eventually allow insurance sales across state lines.) “There's going to be tremendous competition.”

--“Repeals burdensome taxes -- big.”

-- “Will restore choices.”

-- “Will stabilize insurance markets.”

-- “Will protect preexisting condition coverage.”

-- “Will allow the use of pretax dollars to pay premiums.”

-- “Will expand the HSAs.”

-- “Will devote substantial resources to fight opioid and other substance abuse.”

-- “Will provide better coverage for low-income Americans…because we're going to spend some more money to make sure everybody is protected.”

-- “Will improve medical outcomes for low-income Americans.”

-- “Puts Medicaid on a sustainable path, which it's not on right now.”

-- “Levels the playing field for states when it comes to federal dollars.”

-- “Reforms major entitlements, now a principal driver of 20- trillion-dollar debt that we have.”

-- “And will redistrict authority from Washington, D.C., to the states, which I've already said, where they can innovate and develop the best practices, and on a smaller basis they'll be able to take care of people better.”

Trump repeated that the Senate should remain in session “until this bill is on my desk, and until we all go over to the Oval Office. I'll sign it and we can celebrate for the American people.”

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