August 21, 2017

GOP Rep Urges Trump to Stop Lawmakers' Healthcare Subsidies

02 August 2017, 07:32 | Christie Tate

GOP rep: Trump halting ObamaCare payments would 'hurt a lot of people'

Sen. Susan Collins R Maine is surrounded by reporters as she arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington before a test vote on the Republican health care bill. Collins who was one of three Republican senators vot

On Sunday Trump aides took to the Sunday morning talk-show circuit to deliver the message that the President is prepared to end cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers in a bid to let "Obamacare implode".

Likewise, the voters won't shed too many tears if Trump follows through on his threat to end insurance company bailouts.

Repealing and replacing Obamacare "is a promise that they made seven years and four election cycles ago.This promise was made long before Donald Trump came along to be their nominee", he said. The insurance industry has said stopping the payments would cause premiums to increase immediately and many insurance companies have said they would withdraw from the exchanges altogether, hastening an existing problem in some states where only a handful of plans are for sale. "There's a real sense that if they were to end that exemption they would perhaps better understand how Obamacare works and the ramifications of not acting to repeal and replace it".

Trump, whose White House staffers are likely covered through FEHB, complete with premium-sharing benefits paid by taxpayers, is directly and explicitly blackmailing Congress. Sen. As Axios reports, insurance companies have so far been keen to avoid this unpleasant conflict with the White House but, if forced into combat, they could hike up their prices as soon as next month, citing the threats to take away subsidies. Can the millions of Americans who risked losing their health-care coverage sleep tight now?

As one summary of the case noted, Train v. City of NY established the principle that "the President can not frustrate the will of Congress by killing a program through impoundment". It will "only" need to raise premiums by 8.8 percent if Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies for low income enrolled are funded by Washington.

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It's great that President Trump seems to understand these points and states them on Twitter.

The president could get sued from insurance providers for the remaining 2017 subsidy payments, and he could face an angry consumer base that will be outraged with higher premium payments with no help to cover the costs. These subsidies lower the price of health coverage for the poor under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that eliminating what amounts to an employer contribution to pay for health insurance used by lawmakers and their staff would help serve as a motivation to fulfill the GOP's campaign pledge to repeal the 2010 law. The proposal, from Senator Lindsey Graham, would block federal health-care funding to the states, and keep much of Obamacare's tax system. "I think he has been a little less concerned about the specifics", Dent said. Trump needs to quit tweeting about removing these illegal bailouts and do it.

Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney told CNN on Sunday that Republican lawmakers can not just promise for the past seven years to overturn Obamacare and then "turn the page" without doing so.

The court's order allows Democrats who back the law to have a say in the legal fight, giving them the power to block a settlement or appeal a ruling blocking the payments.

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