U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he’ll “come up with” a replacement for the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court strikes it down and takes away health care for millions of Americans.
The comment, made during his final debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, undercut his repeated claims that he has a health care plan already prepared and ready to unveil to the country.
More than 20 million Americans are enrolled in government health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. But the Supreme Court is set to decide later this year whether the act is unconstitutional.
Asked by moderator Kristen Welker what he’ll do if the court strikes it down, Trump said he wants to do “much better health care” that protects pre-existing conditions — something the Affordable Care Act already guarantees.
“I’d like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new, beautiful health care,” he said.
In an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl set to air on Sunday, of which Trump posted unedited footage of on Thursday, the president claimed he had a health care plan ready to go.
“It’s developed. It’s very developed. It’s going to be announced very soon,” he claimed when asked where the Republican health care plan was.
He also said he wants the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act.
“I hope that they end it,” he said. “It’ll be so good if they end it.”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted out pictures of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany presenting Stahl a thick binder that Trump claimed was “some of the many things we’ve done” for health care.
One of the pictures showed Stahl flipping through the binder and looking at what appears to be a blank sheet of paper.
Biden says he wants to build on the Affordable Care Act and have a public, government-sponsored option for health care insurance in addition to private insurance. He said the plan would continue to foster competition within the insurance market.
“The difference between the president and I, I think health care is not a privilege, it’s a right. Everyone should have the right to have affordable health care,” Biden said at the debate.
Trump and Biden clashed when the president claimed Biden’s plan would lead to “socialized medicine,” which Trump claimed would destroy the country.
Trump went on to bring up the Medicare-for-all plans brought up by Sen. Bernie Sanders and other Democratic presidential contenders, all of whom Biden pointed out he beat in the primaries.
“He’s a very confused guy,” Biden said, referring to Trump. “He thinks he’s running against somebody else. He’s running against Joe Biden.”
Sanders and other Democrats have been advising Biden on his health care plan and other policy proposals.