Trump punts on health care until after the 2020 election

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President Donald Trump on Monday night backed away from his push for a vote on an Obamacare replacement until after the 2020 elections, bowing to the political reality that major health care legislation cannot pass in the current Congress.

Trump’s statements come a week after his administration announced that it now agreed with a judge’s ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be scrapped. The opinion was a dramatic reversal from the administration’s previous stance that only portions of the act could not be defended.

Trump’s latest move allows him to wait on the issue as legal challenges against the health care law, also known as Obamacare, make their way through the federal court system.

If it’s ultimately overturned, Trump can claim he made good on a campaign promise in time for his 2020 re-election campaign — though he would then face the prospect of an estimated 20 million Americans losing their health insurance on his watch, with no Republican replacement in the legislative pipeline.

If it’s upheld — as it has been in previous Supreme Court challenges — he can rail against a “liberal” court system.