Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump appeared Monday to bask in the back-and-forth over a health care plan to replace Obamacare, describing the talks in businesslike terms.
“It’s a big, fat, beautiful negotiation,” Trump declared during the first meeting of his Cabinet at the White House. “Hopefully we’ll come up with something that’s going to be really terrific.”
Earlier in the day, Trump appeared to lower expectations for an immediate drop in health insurance costs after a replacement bill is passed. He told a White House gathering of Americans who say they’ve been negatively affected by the Affordable Care Act that it could take several years before a drop in prices.
“More competition and less regulation will finally bring down the cost of care, and I think it will bring it down significantly. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get there because you have to let that marketplace kick in,” Trump said.
“It’s going to take a little while to get there,” Trump added. “But once it does it’s going to be a thing of beauty. I wish it didn’t take a year or two years. But that’s what’s going to happen.”
The President’s remarks came as Republicans awaited a closely watched score from the Congressional Budget Office on their health care replacement plan, which was unveiled and debated last week. Democrats argue the measure, called the American Health Care Act, will force millions of Americans off their insurance plans while increasing costs.
The CBO score is expected as early as Monday.
Trump, in his meeting, expressed frustration that Obamacare seems to be rising in popularity among Americans. Indeed, polls show that more Americans favor the current health law, which was passed in 2010.
He placed blame for the rise on the media, which he claimed were focusing on Obamacare’s success stories without highlighting those Americans who have seen their premiums spike or their preferred insurance canceled.
“The press is making Obamacare look so good all of a sudden. I’m watching the news, it looks so good,” Trump said.
He argued that Americans’ views of his predecessor, President Barack Obama, were also improving now the Democratic leader has left office.
“When he left, people like him. When he was here, people didn’t like him so much. That’s the way life goes. It’s human nature,” Trump said.