Trump says time to 'let ObamaCare fail' after health bill stalls

President Trump said Tuesday he's prepared to “let ObamaCare fail” after the collapse of Senate Republicans' latest health care bill, indicating he's willing to move on to tax reform and other issues – and deal with an Affordable Care Act fix down the road.

“I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let ObamaCare fail,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let ObamaCare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us."

He spoke after two more Republican senators came out late Monday against the Senate bill, effectively killing its chances in its current form. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to call a vote on a bill to repeal ObamaCare now and replace it later, but on Tuesday afternoon left the door open to working with Democrats if that fails. 


The White House focused its ire Tuesday on Democratic lawmakers, suggesting they'll regret their opposition. 

"The failure of ObamaCare rests solely on the shoulder of the Democrats. They pushed it through, and they need to own the failure of it," Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 

But even as the current health law suffers from rising premiums and diminishing coverage options, Republican lawmakers had faced vocal protests from constituents unhappy over the party's replacement legislation. 

The collapse of the bill late Monday leaves unclear how and whether Republicans, now in total control of Congress and the White House, can make good on their campaign promise to scrap the ACA. 

Trump told reporters Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that Republicans haven’t been able to pass legislation after seven years of calling to repeal and replace the law.

“Something will happen … it may not be as quick as we had hoped, but it’s going to happen,” Trump said of passing a health care bill.

Trump also called for getting “more Republicans elected” to make it easier to get his agenda passed in Congress. “I’ll be working very hard for that to happen,” he said.

The president also vowed to continue to work on implementing other campaign promises not yet fulfilled.

“We’re going to win on taxes, we’re going to win on infrastructure,” he said.

On Monday evening, Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas joined Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine in opposition, making passage of the Senate bill impossible.

Republicans needed 50 votes (plus Vice President Pence as a tie-breaker) to pass the bill.

After learning the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” was effectively dead, Trump tweeted late Monday night urging Republicans to “just REPEAL” the Affordable Care Act.

“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new health care plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!” he said, suggesting a bipartisan plan.

But at least one Republican senator said she’s against repealing the law without replacement legislation.

"As I stated earlier this year, I cannot vote to proceed to repeal the ACA without reform that allows people the choice they want, the affordability they need and the quality of care they deserve," Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Tuesday.

Last month on the Senate floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., challenged Republicans and Trump to “start over” and “turn over a new leaf” on bipartisan health care.

“We have an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, we are willing to debate and compromise on health care but we have to be included,” Schumer said on June 28.

But despite the bill imploding and Trump’s guidance, McConnell said, “this does not have to be the end of the story.”

“I regret the effort to repeal and immediately replace will not be successful, but that doesn’t mean we should give up,” McConnell said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “It’s regretful that our Democratic colleagues decided early on that they did not want to engage with us to help deliver that relief, but this does not have to be the end of the story.” 

Fox News' Brooke Singman contributed to this report.