September 27, 2015: Repeal and replace
“Obamacare's going to be repealed and replaced,” Trump told Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes. “Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what's going on with premiums where they're up 45, 50, 55 percent.”
He was vague on the details, but insisted that all Americans will have insurance. “There's many different ways, by the way. Everybody's got to be covered… I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now.”
November 11, 2016: No preference
Jump ahead to right after the election. Trump told The Wall Street Journal he has no fixed position, but would consider just trying to fix the existing law. “Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” he said.
November 13, 2016: Simultaneous repeal and replace
Two days later, Trump was again on 60 Minutes, where he told Lesley Stahl he wants both to eliminate the law and to put in place a new one at the same time.
Lesley Stahl: And there's going to be a period if you repeal it and before you replace it, when millions of people could lose—no?
Donald Trump: No, we're going to do it simultaneously. It'll be just fine. 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 It will be repealed and replaced.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'll be great health care for much less money. So it'll be better health care, much better, for less money. Not a bad combination.
January 9, 2017: Simultaneous repeal and replace
Despite Trump’s statements, Republican leaders began floating the idea of repealing Obamacare first and replacing it later, likely recognizing that while a majority of the GOP caucus in both houses favors repeal, they have divergent views about what a replacement look like. (After seven years of promising repeal, leaders still had no viable plan.) But Senator Rand Paul believes that Congress should do both at once, and he convinced Trump to go along with it. The Wall Street Journal reported:
“I believe we should vote on replacement the same day we vote on repeal,” Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said in an interview Monday. Mr. Trump called the senator on Friday night “to say he agrees completely,” Mr. Paul said.
January 15, 2017: ‘Insurance for everybody’
Trump told The Washington Post that he was close to unveiling a plan with the leaders of the House and Senate that would give insurance to everybody, lower deductibles, and lower premiums.
Although he was coy about its details—“lower numbers, much lower deductibles”—he said he is ready to unveil it alongside Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).“It’s very much formulated down to the final strokes. We haven’t put it in quite yet but we’re going to be doing it soon,” Trump said….
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”
As of late July, Republicans have not offered any plan remotely resembling this.