But the openness was complicated by a shift in the official positions listed on his website.
The comments, made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal
, signal less of a policy shift for Trump than a change from the rhetoric that helped win him the presidency just three days ago and could set up a fight with conservatives.
Trump told the paper he was reconsidering his stance after Thursday’s meeting with Obama, who urged him to protect parts of the law. Trump said he would like to keep the provision forbidding discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and to allow young Americans to remain on their parents’ healthcare plans.
“Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” he said, acknowledging that it was Obama, who met with Trump in the Oval Office for 90 minutes, who encouraged him to reconsider. “I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that.”
Trump reiterated his plan in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” to ensure individuals with pre-existing conditions continue to have coverage.
“Yes, because it happens to be one of the strongest assets,” Trump said.
Trump went on to explain to CBS that he would also try to keep the measure that allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.
“We’re going to very much try to keep that. It adds cost but it’s very much something we’re going to try to keep,” Trump said.
When pressed about the time between repealing and replacing Obamacare, Trump assured CBS correspondent Leslie Stahl that the two would happen “simultaneously.”
“It will be just fine. That’s what I do, I do a good job. You know, I know how to do this stuff. We’re going to repeal it and replace it. We’re not going to have, like, a two-day period, and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced and we’ll know. And it will be great health care for much less money,” Trump said.
But the President-elect did not offer a replacement plan.
Trump also told the Journal that he would bring the country together and that “I want a country that loves each other.” But that grace did not extend to any reflection on his coarse rhetoric.
When asked about whether his language was inappropriate, Trump said: “No. I won.”
Echoes previous statements
Trump’s positions on Friday are not entirely new, as he’s previously voiced support for certain parts of Obamacare as a candidate. But the statement, three days after Americans elected him president, is a fresh sign that he may be willing to distance himself from some of his campaign positioning, such as calling for the immediate repeal and replace of Obamacare.
And it’s a far cry from what Trump uttered during the primary to his boisterous fans at rallies.
“Look at the mess, and look at the corruption,” Trump said at a rally just a day before Election Day in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Real change begins immediately with the repealing and replacing of the disaster known as Obamacare.”
Also on Friday, The Washington Post reported
that Trump has revised his health care agenda to steer it more in line with Republican Party orthodoxy.
The paper said the presidential transition website has been edited to now include allowing health care workers to not perform acts that would violate their religious or moral beliefs and to “protect innocent human life from conception to natural death.”
The paper also said the website omits Trump’s call to allow Americans to import prescription drugs from other countries where they are sold at lower prices.
Trump has previously voiced support for other provisions of Obamacare.