President Donald Trump will use his business skills to negotiate lower prices and foster more competition in the health care market—but he doesn’t want to rush things, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday.
Spicer declined to give a specific timeline for seeing Congress repeal and replace the law, saying that Democrats rushed the passing of Obamacare and Republicans should not rush the replacement.
“I think we can have this done legislatively sooner rather than later. But I think the implementation is going to be a little bit longer. It was a big, big bill that the Democrats had,” Spicer told reporters during a press briefing Tuesday. “As you recall, they told us they could read it after they passed it. We are now going through this to make sure we can do this in a very responsible way.”
The Daily Signal asked if the president agreed with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that the Obamacare law cannot be tinkered with or repaired but must be scrapped for something fundamentally different.
“What we’re focused on is the end solution,” Spicer told The Daily Signal. “We’ve been very clear over and over again that the president is going to repeal and replace [Obamacare], and that what Americans will get at the end of this is a health care solution, as I’ve said before over and over again, is going to give them a lower cost solution with more options.”
Spicer said that Trump’s vision is what was “promised in the first place,” but not delivered by Obamacare.
“The president being able to approach this in the businesslike manner that he’s done so successfully in the past is going to ensure that he negotiates prices and that we look at those businesslike practices, force competition among and other things that will help lower costs,” Spicer continued.
Ryan has previously said Congress can repeal and replace Obamacare in March or April. However, during an interview on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly aired before the Super Bowl, Trump said, “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.”
And Ryan on Tuesday talked about repealing the law this year.
Other reporters Tuesday pressed Spicer on the timeline for Congress repealing and replacing the law.
Spicer said the president and Republican congressional leaders are on the same page. But he stressed it would be a mistake to rush a repeal bill, as Democrats did in passing the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
“It’s a mammoth bill what they passed,” Spicer said. “We’ve got to make sure we do this right. We don’t want to end up with the same results the Democrats did. They rushed it through, no one was able to read the bill, premiums have skyrocketed, access and options have gone down. We need to make sure we understand we don’t do this in a way that ends up with the same result.”
This article has been corrected to state that the White House press briefing took place on Tuesday.
Report by The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas. Originally published at The Daily Signal.