Given that it's their favorite punching bag, congressional Republicans and Republican campaign operatives couldn't have been too happy this morning when Trump declared that Obamacare no longer exists, but you might say Trump left himself wiggle room by blaming everything on non-existent Obamacare.
Following his decision to end cost-sharing subsidies for insurers, an action that will drive up premiums, Trump proclaimed that Obamacare is dead but not really.
TRUMP: "I cutoff the gravy train. If I didn’t cut the CSRs, they wouldn’t be meeting. They would be having lunch and enjoying themselves. They are right now having emergency meetings to get a short-term fix of health care. Where premiums don’t have to double and triple every year like they’ve been doing under Obamacare. Because Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore. I said this years ago. It’s a concept that couldn’t have worked. In its best days it couldn’t have worked."
ALSO TRUMP: "As soon as we have the next reconciliation we will get the vote for health care. I feel very confident of that. I think we have the vote for health care. Sadly the Democrats can’t join us on that which will be the long-term fix, but I do believe we will have a short-term fix because I think the Democrats will be blamed for the mess. This is an Obamacare mess. When the premiums go up, that has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that we had poor care delivered poorly, written poorly, approved by the Democrats."
Public polls consistently show that a majority of Americans believe Trump and the GOP should work with Democrats to amend the law, not kill it. Polls also consistently show that a majority of Americans will blame Trump and the Republicans for killing it.
There may be a space in public opinion for more ambiguity if Trump wasn't so adept at running his stupid mouth.
A small group of lawmakers led by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) had been discussing a short-term fix for months before Trump shut down CSR payments, but their talks were interrupted by the Graham-Cassidy shitfest and Trump's own machinations. At this point it's not clear if there's even a path forward for a bipartisan "fix" and you can definitely thank Trump for that.