Washington: US President Donald Trump promised on Saturday to promote a new healthcare plan once former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act "explodes", a day after the Republican bill to replace that plan was withdrawn before it could be put to the vote by the US House of Representatives.
"ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!" EFE news quoted Trump as saying in a tweet on his personal Twitter account, in a reference to the law Obama enacted in 2010.
The tweet reflected the comments he made on Friday after the Republican plan was withdrawn once it became clear that it lacked the necessary support among his own party to be passed by the House.
"Perhaps the best thing that could happen is exactly what happened today, because we'll end up with a truly great healthcare bill in the future after this mess known as Obamacare explodes," Trump said on Friday in a statement to reporters at the Oval Office.
When the President predicted that Obamacare will "explode", he meant the cost of insurance premiums will soar out of control this year under that law, and trusted that the Democratic opposition would therefore work with him to change the healthcare system.
"We were very close, it was a very tight margin. We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats," Trump said, and calculated that with "10 to 15" more Republican votes, the bill would have been passed by the lower house.
The first vote on the measure was scheduled for last Thursday, but Republicans were forced to postpone it for lack of support among their own party, after which Trump gave them an ultimatum to either hold the vote this Friday or he would leave the current healthcare system in place.
Finally, just before the time to vote rolled around, Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan jumped in to withdraw the bill and avoid it being shot down.
Obamacare, a law designed to improve the quality of healthcare services and make them affordable for low-income citizens, has provided medical coverage for more than 20 million people who were previously uninsured.
The Republican plan dismantled the basic benefits of Obamacare, including subsidies to help people get medical insurance and the expansion of Medicaid, a programme of access to healthcare for low-income families.
Meanwhile, the conservative plan would have put an end to the mandate to buy coverage, which forces those without any kind of insurance to purchase a policy or pay a fine.