Donald Trump said the programme 'will fall of its own weight', and urged Republicans to 'be careful'
Republicans and Democrats in Washington are meeting separately in Washington today to discuss the future of the controversial 'Obamacare' healthcare programme.
President Barack Obama is addressing his party's senators and representatives over his signature healthcare programme, while Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with Republican congressional leaders.
Pence insisted their first order of business will be to 'repeal & replace' the legislation.
We're going to keep our promise to the American people. Our 1st order of business will be to repeal & replace Obamacare pic.twitter.com/62QQVfOhcv— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) January 4, 2017
Obamacare - or the Affordable Care Act - has led to an estimated 20 million people gaining health insurance having previously been unable to afford it.
However, it has also faced severe opposition since its inception - including from Republicans, trade unions and small business groups. It remains a divisive programme among voters, and concerns remain over its affordability.
The ACA will almost certainly be repealed under President-elect Trump and the Republican-majority Congress, although uncertainty remains over a timescale and replacement for the act.
President-elect Trump pledged to fully repeal the Act during the election campaign, but has since suggested some parts of the programme may be kept - such as guarantees for people with pre-existing health conditions.
In a series of tweets today, he called on Republicans to be 'careful' over the 'Obamacare disaster', saying Democrats 'are to blame for the mess'.
Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
like the 116% hike in Arizona. Also, deductibles are so high that it is practically useless. Don't let the Schumer clowns out of this web...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight - be careful!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
It is unlikely Democrats will be able to protect the controversial legislation, but Politico reports they are preparing a 'messaging battle to make Republicans feel the squeeze' as they move to dismantle the programme. They are also likely to attempt to delay and disrupt the repeal and replacement efforts.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to stop 'clowning around' with America's healthcare.
Republicans should stop clowning around with America’s health care. Don’t #MakeAmericaSickAgain— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 4, 2017