— -- After he spent weeks supporting and lobbying for a Republican-backed health care plan that ultimately collapsed last Friday, President Donald Trump told a gathering of U.S. senators Tuesday night that they were "going to make a deal on health care."
Trump repeatedly promised an immediate "repeal and replace" of the Affordable Care Act throughout his presidential campaign. When the American Health Care Act was pulled last week from a scheduled vote and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the ACA would remain the "law of the land," the president then claimed that he preferred for the law known as "Obamacare" to "implode" and "explode" on its own anyway.
When Trump broached the topic Tuesday at a White House reception for senators and their spouses, calling a "deal on health care" "such an easy one" and saying he has "no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly," some in the room laughed before the president continued.
"I think it will actually, I think it's going to happen, because we've all been promising -- Democrat, Republican -- we've all been promising that to the American people," said Trump. "So I think a lot of good things will happen there."
After the AHCA was pulled from a vote on Friday, Trump blamed Democrats for not giving the plan "a single vote" and called Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi "losers." He did say at the time that he thought "a real health care bill" could be developed after Obamacare fails, which the president guessed would be "at some point in the near future."
Ryan told a group of donors Monday that the GOP was not going to "abandon" health care reform in the wake of the AHCA's failure and that they would continue to work on a new policy while they "move on with the rest of [their] agenda."
Trump also addressed a desire to work on a bipartisan infrastructure plan at the reception Tuesday and expressed support for the work the military is doing in Iraq after saying he had "a long call" with Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
"We're doing very well in Iraq," said Trump. "Our soldiers are fighting and fighting like never before and the results are very good>"
On Monday, defense officials told ABC News that two additional companies were being sent to Iraq to help Iraqi troops fighting to retake Mosul from ISIS.