Donald Trump taken aim at “Obamacare” as well as homing in on the FBI’s renewed examination of rival Hillary Clinton’s emails as the US election campaign enters its final week.
Campaigning in Pennsylvania, a state where some health care premiums are expected to go up by more than 40%, Republican candidate Mr Trump presented an alternate healthcare proposal at a joint appearance with running mate Mike Pence.
Striking a subdued tone and barely mentioning Mrs Clinton’s name, the typically fiery Republican still warned that electing his Democratic rival would “destroy American health care forever”.
He said: “Obamacare has led to higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality. Hillary Clinton wants to expand Obamacare and make it even more expensive.”
If elected, Mr Trump has promised to immediately convene a special session of Congress to repeal the law. It is unclear what that means, since Congress is already scheduled to be in session several weeks before the new US president is inaugurated.
Earlier, Mr Trump pointed to renewed FBI examination of Mrs Clinton’s email practises as evidence she could face a criminal trial. He said: “Her election would mire our government and our country in a constitutional crisis that we cannot afford.”
While the fresh opportunities reinforce Republican attacks, they may be too little and too late to help Mr Trump. As Mrs Clinton’s national lead shrinks, she is relying on a firewall of support from women and minority voters in demographically diverse swing states.
In rallies across Florida on Tuesday, she plans to target Mr Trump’s treatment of women, who accuse him of repeatedly sexually harassing and even assaulting them.
She will be introduced by Alicia Machado, the winner of Mr Trump’s 1996 Miss Universe crown, whom he has repeatedly insulted for her weight gain.
With more than 23 million ballots already cast through early voting, Mr Trump simply may not have the time or organisational capacity to improve his standing enough over the next week to enter the White House.
The Republican nominee still faces a narrow pathway to winning the required 270 electoral votes – one that includes defending states like Arizona and Utah which Republicans have won for decades.
The new developments have, however, boosted embattled Republicans as they struggle to defend their Senate majority.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who told Fox News he voted for Donald Trump last week, warned that electing Mrs Clinton and a Democratic-controlled Congress would be “the worst of all possible things”.
“For those of us who lived through the 1990s, it’s sort of a feeling like deja vu,” he said.
“This is what life with the Clintons looks like. It’s always a scandal, then there’s an investigation.”
However, Democrats remain optimistic they will pick up the four or five seats needed to retake Senate control, while Republicans concede they are in a real race to keep their majority.