President Trump is not giving up on his plan to undo former President Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul. On Wednesday, he threatened the Democratic Party he would slash the federal funds needed by insurers if they don’t get back to the negotiating table.
Trump to Cut Subsidies Unless Democrats Join Negotiations
Trump explained his administration cannot legally make those payments as Obama had made them without congressional approval. The cost-sharing payments help low-income Americans get access to affordable healthcare, but congressional Republicans have already sued the former administration for making those payments illegally.
The president is aware that halting those payments would ‘hurt’ many people, but he said that it “should happen,” unless Democrats are ready to renegotiate the Obamacare replacement.
Democrats, however, were outraged at Trump’s tactics. Senate minority leader Charles Schumer said he is blackmailing the party by “holding hostage health care for millions of Americans.” Schumer reminded Trump that many of those people voted for him.
This cynical strategy will fail,
The Democratic leader said.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi agrees that cutting the federal subsidies will hurt millions of people, and “manufacture a crisis.” The health insurance industry has sent the White House a letter urging it to make the payments at least until the end of 2018 in order not to destabilize the market.
The System Could Explode
Industry analysts estimate that the move would push premiums up for all consumers by over 15 percent. This is why many Obamacare enrollees will likely leave the program, which could cause the system to “collapse under its own burden,” as House Speaker Paul Ryan said in 2015.
Trump himself admitted that Obamacare would be dead in a month if it doesn’t receive the federal money. He unveiled the plan just two days after the DHHS said that the subsidies wouldn’t be halted.
Industry analysts believe halting the payments would cause billion-of-dollar losses to insurers which will force many of them to leave the market. This could destabilize the system entirely.
He could blow up the system right now
Analyst Robert Laszekwski said about Trump.
Republicans, including Ryan, disagree with Trump. They believe the federal money should keep pouring until they manage to pass a replacement. Other Republicans are zooming in on the possibility of boosting funding to prevent further market destabilization.
Democrats said they are willing to cooperate with Trump’s White House if the administration scraps its plans to repeal Obamacare. Last month, Republicans couldn’t pass their own law as they missed a few votes and Democrats refused to lend a hand.
The White House and GOP leaders are reportedly in talks over the replacement proposal, but they need Democrats to join in to pass the bill when Congress returns from a 2-week recess.
The Congressional Budget Office has recently estimated that the individual insurance markets wouldn’t suffer drastic changes under the GOP’s proposed plan. The nonpartisan group’s estimates suggest concerns that the new health care reform would destabilize the market are largely exaggerated.
Image Source: Wikimedia