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Trump Threatens to End Payments to Health Insurers unless Obamacare Repealed

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend threatened to end government payments to health insurers unless U.S. Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the law that has allowed millions of Americans to obtain health insurance.

Frustrated by Friday’s failure buy Senate Republicans to pass a bill repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, Trump went on Twitter Saturday morning to again vent his frustration, tweeting “If a new Health Care Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”

The ‘BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies” Trump tweeted about is referring to the $8 billion in cost-sharing reduction subsidies paid by the U.S. government to insurers to lower the price of health coverage for low-income individuals.

While the “BAILOUTS for Members of Congress” is referring to the employer contribution for members of Congress and their staff, who were moved from the normal federal employee health care benefits program onto the Obamacare insurance exchanges as part of the 2010 healthcare law.

Suggesting that Republicans may be “total quitters.” Trump said healthcare repeal and replace is not dead.

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Insurers are waiting for clarifications from Mr. Trump on whether the government will continue funding the annual government subsidies. Mr. Trump has only guaranteed the insurance payments through this month.

Trump previously said, “Obamacare law would stop immediately whenever those payments stop.” Without such clarifications, many insurers plan to raise rates an additional 20 percent by August 16, the deadline for premium prices.

He told Republican leaders not to give up on repeal and replace saying the world is watching the party.

The U.S. Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York reacting to President Trump’s tweets said, “If the President refuses to make the cost sharing reduction payments, every expert agrees that premiums will go up and health care will be more expensive for millions of Americans.”

The Senate minority leader then called on the president to stop playing politics with people’s lives. “The President ought to stop playing politics with people’s lives and health care, start leading and finally begin acting presidential.”

After the bill had failed on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would move to other legislative business in the upcoming week. However, Trump insisted that the goal, one of his top campaign promises, is still within reach.

Republicans in congress have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare since the law was enacted in 2010.

Some congressional Republicans are still trying to find a way forward on health care reform.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said late Friday that he and two other Republican senators, Dean Heller (R-NV) and Bill Cassidy (R-NV) met with Trump after the defeat to discuss Senator Graham’s proposal to take tax money raised by Obamacare and send it back to the states in the form of health care block grants.

Senator Graham said the proposal would end Democrats’ drive for a national single-payer health care system by putting states in charge.



Contributor, The Liberal Advocate News




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