President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he would not support leaving a long period between the repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act, and its replacement with a new plan.
Calling Obamacare a "catastrophic event," Trump said he would not accept a delay for voting on a replacement plan that lasts beyond several weeks.
"It won't be repeal and then two years later go in with another plan," he said, according to The New York Times.
Trump did not say, however, that he would veto a bill that only repeals Obamacare after promising throughout his campaign to gut the law. While Republicans haven't reached a consensus on how long a replacement bill should be delayed, some have brought up the possibility of waiting as long as two or three years while others say an immediate replacement plan is necessary so people don't lose coverage.
Republicans of late haven't presented the full details of a replacement plan, but some have pointed to House Speaker Paul Ryan's "Better Way" outline, which includes provisions like selling insurance across state lines and encouraging the use of health savings accounts.
"We're going to use every tool at our disposal through legislation, through regulation, to bring replace concurrent along with repeal, so that we can save people from this mess," the Wisconsin Republican said.
Even if Republicans do agree on a plan, they are likely to face opposition from Democrats who will say it is inadequate compared to current law. Democrats, including Obama, say that a replacement plan should cover as many people as the Affordable Care Act and offer the same level of coverage. Democratic leaders in Congress also have said Republicans will be responsible for the consequences of repealing the law, and so far they have not shown any favorable positions toward policy proposals the GOP has floated.
Trump said Tuesday that he thinks Democrats should want to fix the Affordable Care Act and warned that he would campaign against lawmakers during the 2018 midterm election who stand between him and achieving this goal.