NASHVILLE — It took more than 25 minutes into his speech here for President Trump to make his pitch in support of the biggest legislative fight facing his administration: repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“I want to get to taxes, I want to cut the hell out of taxes,’ Trump said by way of introduction. “But before I can do that — I would have loved to have put it first, I’ll be honest —there is one more very important thing that we have to do: We are going to repeal and replace the horrible, disastrous Obamacare.”
The legislative process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it — potentially— with the Republican Party’s version, is just beginning. But Trump can’t hide his eagerness to get it over with.
Though health-care reform was a major promise of his campaign and a signature pillar of the Republican Party’s platform for most of the last seven years, Trump made it clear Wednesday that he would much rather be dealing with the tax code than with health care, which he recently said "nobody knew" could be so "complicated."
“One of the reasons I want to get the health care taken care of — and it has to come statutorily and for other reasons, various complex reasons, having to do with politics, and also Congress — it has to come first. It really has to come first,” Trump told Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Wednesday. “One of the reasons I want to get it finished, ideally soon, is because I want to start on the taxes.”
The comments echoed a sentiment Trump repeated over and over again on Wednesday as he spoke to supporters in Michigan and Tennessee.
Obamacare, he said, is a “disaster.” But the real annoyance is that it’s holding up his effort to lower taxes and cut regulations.
“We’re going to reduce your taxes, big league! I want to start that process so quickly!” Trump exclaimed to an ecstatic crowd in Nashville on Wednesday night. “Got to get the health care done, we gotta start the tax reductions.”
A few minutes later in the speech, the issue came up again.
Trump lamented the process of repealing and replacing the bill in the first phase, which congressional Republicans are seeking to do through an arcane process called reconciliation, which requires a simple majority in order to approve a bill.
But, Trump said, “the end result, when you have phase one, phase two, it’s going to be great.”
“Then we’ll get on to tax reductions,” Trump noted, “which I like.”