Trump has taken the Republican Party in unprecedented directions in recent years, from his nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to his efforts to overhaul the nation’s health care system and to push the Republican agenda in the House.
But the president is also in danger of doing something that’s never been done before.
And the country isn’t going to get a full understanding of what the new administration is really up to until the next president is sworn in.
So the next few weeks could prove crucial.
On Wednesday, House Republicans will take up a bill that will make it easier for Americans to obtain health insurance, but it will also repeal a key part of the Affordable Care Act.
The new legislation would strip out the requirement that most Americans have health insurance and make it possible for people to buy coverage on their own without insurance companies providing it.
A group of House Republicans said in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that it is “time for Congress” to “revisit the ACA and to fully repeal it before it becomes a national nightmare.”
“The ACA was designed to provide a pathway to health coverage for millions of Americans,” the letter says.
“The Trump administration has been reckless and irresponsible in its actions to undermine the ACA, which has now become a national health crisis.”
If the bill passes, it would make it nearly impossible for many people to afford coverage and would be particularly devastating to low-income Americans, who rely on subsidies to help pay for their premiums.
“In many cases, they can’t afford to pay the premiums,” said John Schuster, director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics at Georgetown University.
“It is a devastating blow to the very families who depend on subsidies.”
For many Americans, the prospect of losing coverage was a real one, he added.
The letter comes just as the Trump White House is preparing to push back against the bipartisan efforts to reinstate Obamacare.
“President Trump has made clear he will not allow this administration to undo the progress made under Obamacare,” a White House spokesperson told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
“This is why we have been fighting for a bipartisan solution that can restore Americans to health insurance.
The ACA was intended to provide coverage for Americans who are unable to obtain affordable coverage from employers and their employees, and it has done so.
It is the law of the land and should not be changed.”
While Republicans are still trying to get the GOP-controlled House to pass their bill, some lawmakers are calling for the president to veto it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview with The New York Times that the president’s actions were undermining his role as commander in chief.
“He should not unilaterally decide what is good and what is bad for Americans,” Pelosi said.
“We need to get back to the principles of this country.”
If Democrats vote for the bill, it could have consequences for a variety of issues, including health care.
“Obamacare’s marketplaces, which had the greatest success among young adults, the lowest premiums, and the lowest deductibles, were the first to see huge increases in enrollment during the Republican-led health care overhaul,” The Associated Health Care Research and Education Network, a nonprofit health policy research organization, said in its letter to Ryan.
“That trend continued during the current health care law’s enrollment period and will likely continue as insurers look to extend coverage to more of their customers.”
If the House passes the bill without a repeal of Obamacare, it will create a market for individual insurance that could hurt the economy and lead to higher premiums and fewer options for people.
That would be bad for consumers, and could be bad news for the U.S. economy,” the group said.
The group also noted that the current plan would have some small tax breaks for some middle-class Americans, but not for most Americans.
It said that if the ACA were to be repealed, “the number of people earning less than $75,000 would see their taxes go up substantially by 2026 and by nearly $2,000 for everyone else.
“These tax increases will lead to an even greater premium burden for Americans and they could lead to the loss of millions of jobs and more economic pain in the years ahead.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
With AP reporting from Washington.