McConnell: Battle to repeal Affordable Care Act ‘largely over’

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) poured some cold water on former President Trump’s recent comments about launching another effort to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, telling reporters Tuesday the fight over the law seems “largely over.”

McConnell said he would not weigh in directly on the “development” of Trump’s policy agenda and acknowledged the possibility that Republicans would tackle health care reform if Trump can come up with a viable policy alternative.

But he gave voice to the view shared by many Republican senators that the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, will be the law of the land for the foreseeable future.

“I’m going to leave the issue development in the presidential campaign up to the campaign,” said McConnell, who endorsed Trump for president after he won a string of victories on Super Tuesday, knocking former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley out of the race.

“We had a fight over that a few years ago,” McConnell said, referring to the ill-fated effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act during Trump’s first year in office.

“If he can develop a base for revisiting that issue, obviously we’d take a look at it, but it seems to me that’s largely over,” he said.

McConnell made his comments when asked about Trump’s vow that he would make another push to repeal and replace the landmark health care law if reelected to the White House.

Trump said he is “seriously looking at alternatives” if he returns to office and Republicans keep control of the House and Senate.

“The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare. I’m seriously looking at alternatives,” Trump wrote on Truth Social last year.

“We had a couple of Republican Senators who campaigned for 6 years against it, and then raised their hands not to terminate it. It was a low point for the Republican Party, but we should never give up!” he posted.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted with Democrats to defeat a narrowed-down proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act without putting a new health care subsidy program into effect.

President Biden accused Republicans at his State of the Union address last week of still seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Folks, the Affordable Care Act — the old ‘ObamaCare’ — is still a very big deal,” he quipped, referencing his 2010 hot mic comment.

“Over 100 million of you can no longer be denied health insurance because of a preexisting conditions. But my predecessor and many in this chamber want to take — the prescription drug away by repealing the Affordable Care Act,” he added, drawing boos from Republicans in the chamber.

“I’m not going to let that happen. We stopped you 50 times before, and we’ll stop you again,” Biden declared in front of GOP lawmakers.

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