Trump on healthcare, infrastructure: 'The Democrats are really in our way'

"It's all going to be Republicans or bust," the president said of the proposed American Health Care Act.

By Doug G. Ware
President Donald Trump delivers remarks on his administration's $1 trillion infrastructure plan at a rally at Cincinnati's Rivertowne Marina on Wednesday, with the Ohio River in the background. Photo by Tom Uhlman/UPI
1 of 8 | President Donald Trump delivers remarks on his administration's $1 trillion infrastructure plan at a rally at Cincinnati's Rivertowne Marina on Wednesday, with the Ohio River in the background. Photo by Tom Uhlman/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump visited Ohio on Wednesday, where he discussed Republican efforts to reform healthcare and his plan to spend $1 trillion on U.S. infrastructure.

Upon arrival, Trump said at the private event in front of Air Force One at Cincinnati's Lunken Municipal Airport that "Democrats are destroying healthcare in this country."


The president continued his verbal assault on Democratic lawmakers for continuing to oppose the proposed American Health Care Act -- the GOP's effort in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In Cincinnati, Trump met and spoke with two people he called "Obamacare victims."

"They have had their lives completely upended by the disaster known as Obamacare," Trump said. "Across America, premiums are skyrocketing, insurers are fleeing and the American people are paying much more for much worse coverage."


Tuesday, insurer Anthem announced it plans to leave the Ohio marketplace next year.

"We're having no help -- it's only obstruction from the Democrats," he said. "If we gave you the greatest plan in history of the world, we would have no Democratic vote.

"It's all going to be Republicans or bust."

The reasons for decisions like the one made by Anthem -- and other insurers exiting the ACA marketplaces -- depends on who you ask. Republicans point the finger at Democrats, while Democrats say insurers are getting out now because they don't see any continuing support from Trump's government.

"The Republicans are working very very hard on getting a great healthcare plan," Trump added. "I can tell you the Democrats are really in our way.

The AHCA, however, faces a challenge in the Senate after narrowly passing the House last month. Some experts do not expect the proposal to be approved by the upper chamber, particularly in view of its assessment by the Congressional Budget Office -- which said the new plan doesn't add much coverage than the first two failed versions of the AHCA did.

Wednesday's was Trump's first visit to Ohio since the state's critical contribution to his election victory in November -- in which he received 51 percent of the vote and all 18 electoral votes.


"It is great to be back in Ohio. We love Ohio. You remember Ohio? Oh ... it was supposed to be close, it wasn't close," he said of his 8-point defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8.

Hamilton County, though, which covers the Cincinnati metro area, was one of eight Ohio counties that preferred Clinton to Trump on Election Day -- by 10 percentage points.

"We are here to talk about rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Isn't it about time?" Trump continued. "We are spending money all over the world, except here. We don't spend our money here, we spend it all over -- and we'll do it using American labor, American energy, American iron, aluminum and steel."

Earlier this year, Trump announced plans to spend $1 trillion to pay for projects to repair aging bridges, roads and waterways. His plan also calls for privatizing the United States' air traffic control network. Detailed plans for the project are expected by the end of September.

"We will construct incredible new monuments to American grit that inspire wonder for generations and generations," he said.


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The Cincinnati visit was supposed to focus primarily on Trump's massive infrastructure agenda, but his remarks branched out into other issues -- including health, energy and coal miners.

Trump did not address the Senate's inquiry into reputed Russian meddling in his election victory -- nor did he comment on former FBI Director James Comey's scheduled testimony Thursday before the Senate's intelligence committee.

Before leaving for Ohio Wednesday, Trump announced he will nominate Christopher Wray to succeed Comey at the FBI.

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