Republican Lawmakers Warn Trump Not To Sabotage Obamacare

UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., leaves a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Capitol Visitor Center on the investigation of President Trump's campaign ties to Russia on May 18, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., leaves a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Capitol Visitor Center on the investigation of President Trump's campaign ties to Russia on May 18... UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., leaves a briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the Capitol Visitor Center on the investigation of President Trump's campaign ties to Russia on May 18, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images) MORE LESS

Frustrated by the failure of the Republican-controlled Congress to pass any bill repealing any part of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump has threatened to take things into his own hands.

The president has suggested he might cut off billions of dollars in cost sharing reduction payments (CSRs) to health insurance companies, a move that would throw the individual market into chaos and trigger massive hikes in premiums. He has characterized these payments as a “bailout” for insurance companies, but the payments subsidize the cost of insurance for millions of sick and low-income Americans. Even Trump’s suggestion that the payments may end has already wreaked havoc in the insurance market, causing insurers to raise rates or leave certain areas altogether.

Trump’s threat is not finding much support on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers across the political spectrum say the payments must continue—whether they come from the executive branch or are appropriated by Congress. (That is the subject of a pending lawsuit.)

“I hope the president will use his authority to extend those payments,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD), a member of the GOP leadership team, told reporters Monday night. If Trump pulls the trigger and stops the payments, he added, Congress will “look at what our options are” to keep them coming.

Over in the House, moderates like Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and conservatives like Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) have raised a similar alarm. A growing, bipartisan group of House members released a proposal on Monday to stabilize the individual market by having Congress appropriate the CSR money, guaranteeing stability by taking the decision out of Trump’s hands altogether.

Correction: The post has been corrected to properly reflect that Sen. Thune represents South Dakota, not Tennessee.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Dc
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: