July 18 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the plan is to "let Obamacare fail" after three Republican senators said they won't back Senate legislation to simply repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Late Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was ditching his plan to repeal and replace the ACA after he couldn't gather enough votes to pass the bill.
Instead, he said he'd work only to repeal the law entirely -- with a replacement proposal to come later.
But on Tuesday morning, three Republican senators -- Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia -- said they would not support a repeal-only measure without another healthcare plan in place. Their "no" votes effectively killed the repeal plan.
"My position on this issue is driven by its impact on West Virginians," Capito said in a statement. "With that in mind, I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians."
Trump said he was "very disappointed" in the bill's failure -- but he also doesn't think it's dead. He said the solution would be to elect more Republicans in 2018.
"For seven years, I've been hearing repeal and replace from Congress. I've been hearing it loud and strong, and when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don't take advantage of it," Trump told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
"It will be a lot easier, and I think we are probably in that position where we will just let Obamacare fail. We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it."
Earlier in the day, the president blamed repeal and replace failures on "all of the Democrats and a few Republicans."
"With only a very small majority, the Republicans in the House & Senate need more victories next year since Dems totally obstruct, no votes!" Trump tweeted.