Mike Rounds: Donald Trump’s quick revival of health care battle surprised Republicans

March 28, 2019 GMT

Sen. Mike Rounds said Thursday the Republican Party was surprised President Trump wanted to attempt repealing Obamacare again so soon after the Russia investigation ended.

“It did surprise us that he came out as strongly as he did as early as he did in regard to health care.” the South Dakota Republican said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “We thought he might spend some more time talking about Mueller. He didn’t. He announced his satisfaction with the Mueller report and then he stepped right back in and he started talking about where we need to move ahead, and he sees health care as a real issue.”

Mr. Rounds said he “doesn’t believe Obamacare works” but thinks creating a new plan will be a “doable, fixable program.”

“I think the president has a great deal of confidence in our ability to develop a plan,” he said. “I’m not afraid to tackle that issue and I don’t think Republicans are afraid to tackle that issue.”

The Trump administration said Monday the entire Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, due to Congress’ decision to gut the “individual mandate” to hold insurance. Mr. Trump has said in recent days that the GOP will be known as “the party of health care.”