Kimberly Morin reports that after Republicans failed to repeal parts of Obamacare in the “skinny repeal,” President Trump made some threats to Congress on what he’ll do if they don’t get this done.
In a few tweets after the failure, Trump threatened to stop funding insurance companies as well as stop subsidizing congressional health plans:
If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
Don't give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace…and go to 51 votes (nuke option), get Cross State Lines & more.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2017
If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017
Reuters’ report explains the issues at hand:
The first part of Trump’s tweet appeared to be referring to the approximately $8 billion in cost-sharing reduction subsidies the federal government pays to insurers to lower the price of health coverage for low-income Americans.
The second part appeared to be a threat to end the employer contribution for Congress members and their staffs, who were moved from the normal federal employee healthcare benefits program onto the Obamacare insurance exchanges as part of the 2010 healthcare law.
Trump has previously threatened to suspend the payments to insurers, which are determined by the Department of Health and Human Services. In April, he threatened to end the payments if Democrats refused to negotiate over the healthcare bill.
These threats are great, but it’s unclear if Trump could really do anything about them. Insurance companies are planning on either getting out of Obamacare altogether or raising premiums to a much higher level than they already are now if they aren’t properly funded for the subsidized health plans they provide.
With Republican efforts to dismantle Obamacare in disarray, hundreds of U.S. counties are at risk of losing access to private health coverage in 2018 as insurers consider pulling out of those markets.
In response, Trump on Friday again suggested his administration would let the Obamacare program “implode.” He has weakened enforcement of the law’s requirement for individuals to buy insurance, threatened to cut off funding and sought to change plan benefits through regulations.
Republicans should let Obamacare implode. Trying to prop it up only hangs that albatross around their necks.
Democrats knew Obamacare was failing and hurting people yet did nothing to fix it over the past 7 years. They built that; let them own it.