President Donald Trump on Monday urged the Senate to bring a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act to the floor for debate on Tuesday. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
July 24 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Monday slammed Republicans for not doing their job and Democrats for being obstructionists in the GOP-led effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The president spoke at the White House after meeting with families he described as "victims of Obamacare." He blamed Democrats for passing the healthcare law seven years ago that was a "big, fat, ugly lie" that "wreaked havoc on" Americans.
"For them, Obamacare's promise was a nightmare," Trump said of the families he met, who stood behind him during the speech in the Blue Room.
"The first rule of medicine is 'do no harm,' but Obamacare's lies have caused ... families like this nothing but pain," he said.
He called Democrats obstructionists for giving "zero help" during the repeal and replace process.
But it wasn't just Democrats Trump placed blame upon. He also called out Republicans who have said they would vote against earlier versions of the bill.
"Every Republican running for office promised immediate relief from this disastrous law. We as a party must fulfill that solemn promise to the voters of this country to repeal and replace," Trump said. "Republicans have not done their job ending the Obamacare nightmare."
Trump called on the Senate to vote Tuesday to bring a bill to repeal and replace the ACA to the floor for debate.
"The question for every senator Democrat or Republican is whether they will side with Obamacare's architects, which have been so destructive for our country, or for its many victims," he said. "For Democrats, this vote is a chance to make up for the terrible harm they've inflicted on Americans like those with us today. There is still time to do the right thing."
Last week, Trump urged Senators to pass the healthcare bill before the August congressional recess.
"I don't think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan," Trump said. "We shouldn't leave town until this is complete, until this bill is on my desk."
The Senate is expected to vote on healthcare before the August recess but it was not clear if the vote will be for a straight repeal of the ACA or for the ACA's repeal and replacement with another bill.
The latest efforts to pass the revised healthcare bill ended on July 17 when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell shelved the proposal after failing to secure support from enough GOP moderates and conservatives.
In a Gallup poll released earlier this month, U.S. adults were divided on how they wanted the government to approach healthcare reform. The largest segment, 44 percent, said they wanted "significant changes" to the ACA, but to keep it in place. Thirty percent want repeal and replacement, while 23 percent want the ACA to stay as it is.
Andrew V. Pestano contributed to this report.