In an inauguration speech with heavy populist and religious tones, President Donald Trump said nothing about healthcare or the pending repeal of his predecessor's signature law, the Affordable Care Act.
As the official White House website transitioned, the section on healthcare was removed, along with sections of climate change and LGBT rights. Trump has called climate change "a hoax" despite significant scientific evidence of its effects.
During his address Friday, Trump touched on policy issues of immigration, infrastructure, crime and foreign relations but avoided specifics in his short address Friday as the change of power took place amidst protest marches elsewhere in Washington and throughout the country.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several others wore blue buttons on their lapels that read #ProtectOurCare,” a reference to opposition of the GOP majority's promise to repeal the ACA.
“House Democrats are wearing this button as a symbol of our solidarity and support for the ACA during today's inauguration,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter.
Trump signed his first few documents as president soon after the inauguration, including his formal nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as HHS Secretary. After a tense hearing this week in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Price is scheduled for his official confirmation hearing with the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Trump administration officials have been silent about what, if any, executive order Trump might sign into law in the first days of his presidency. He could take actions to effectively remove the individual mandate to buy health insurance or allow for more catastrophic coverage plans.
Those actions could cause substantial upheaval in the insurance markets, however.
In light of this and the political implications of taking insurance away from millions of Americans, several Republicans in Congress have tempered their charge to repeal the ACA without a fully formed and agreed upon replacement plan in place.
At the Price hearing this week, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the process could take years.