Trump campaign officials praised the president on Thursday for taking the lead on dismantling parts of Obamacare, "despite the failure of Congress" to repeal the landmark healthcare law twice this summer.
"Despite their tremendous disappointment in Congress for failing to repeal and replace Obamacare, Americans are reminded today that they can rely on President Trump to do everything possible to fix this debacle by implementing free-market solutions through executive actions," Michael Glassner, the executive chairman of Trump's re-election campaign, said in a statement.
The president issued an executive order on Thursday to allow Americans to purchase more affordable insurance plans by loosening certain requirements that were built into Obamacare. The proclamation directed three cabinet-level agencies – Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury – to make "association health plans" available to consumers, a process that could take several months to take effect.
"We are all gathered together to do something that is very powerful for our nation and very good for our people," Trump said Thursday, while signing the order.
Glassner described the president's executive action as a "down payment on the Republican Party's pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare." And he praised Trump for bringing relief to small business owners across the country who have struggled with skyrocketing healthcare costs.
"The sooner Republicans in Congress follow President Trump's lead on healthcare, tax reform, and other urgent issues, the sooner Americans can overcome the disastrous economic policies of the past decade, especially middle-class families, and enjoy unprecedented growth," Glassner said.
Senate Republicans have repeatedly failed to dismantle Obamacare due to inter-party disagreements over Medicare and Medicaid spending, taxes that were built into the legislation and numerous other elements.
Trump has said previously he thought a repeal-and-replace bill would be on his desk the day he took office, due to his expectation that congressional GOP lawmakers would have an easy time fulfilling their key campaign promise.