Donald Trump: I may not repeal Obamacare, President-elect says in major U-turn

Getting rid of the healthcare plan was among billionaire businessman's biggest campaign promises

Andrew Griffin
Friday 11 November 2016 21:38 GMT
Donald Trump shifts his position on Obamacare during CBS 60 minutes interview

Donald Trump has said that he might not repeal Obamacare, perhaps his biggest campaign promise.

The President-elect performed the apparent U-turn after his meeting with Barack Obama at the White House this week, he has said.

Mr Trump is going to look at "amending" the Affordable Care Act, rather than completely repealing it, he told the Wall Street Journal.

"Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced," Trump told the newspaper. "I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that."

After the President and President-elect met at the White House, Mr Trump said that he and Mr Obama had discussed "some of the difficulties" the country faced but also "some of the really great things that have been achieved". Some took that latter remark as a reference to Obamacare and perhaps other policies, and a potential suggestion that Mr Trump may be won around on what has become one of Barack Obama's flagship policies but also one hated by much of the Republican party.

Mr Obama also said he was "encouraged" by Mr Trump's willingness to work with his team, telling him: "We want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed the country succeeds".

The tense meeting was far more respectful than the exchanges between the two during the presidential campaign, during which Mr Obama called Mr Trump unfit to be president, and Mr Trump said Mr Obama was "the founder of Isis".

Mr Trump said after he spoke with congressional leaders, shortly after his first meeting with Mr Obama, that healthcare would be among his top priorities in office.

President-elect Trump says he looks forward to working with Obama at White House meeting

“We're going to move very strongly on immigration. We will move very strongly on healthcare. And we're looking at jobs. Big league jobs,” he told the press.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Trump said that he may well keep at least two of the main provisions of the healthcare bill. He said that he is favouring retaining a key part of Obamacare that stops insurers from refusing to cover people because they have existing conditions, and another that lets parents add coverage for their children to their own policies.

“I like those very much,” he told the paper.

Mr Trump did say that he would still be looking to strengthen the border with Mexico, and that he would look into deregulating banks so that they can "lend again".

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