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
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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.

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Notable Replies

  1. Let that sink in, folks!

    Wouldn’t you enjoy just looking at that headline all day long?

  2. Avatar for dd40 dd40 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump doesn’t crash the whole healthcare system just to prove he is a big tough guy. At this point, he really doesn’t have much to lose, does he?

  3. Trump isn’t a Republican, he’s not a conservative. Trump isn’t a Democrat, he’s not a liberal. He has no ideology other than that which preserves and advances himself. Trump is a Trumpian, he has contempt for the U.S. Constitution, the legal system, ethics, manners, morality, common sense, anyone who disagrees with him, and citizens in general. He loves and looks out for only one thing, himself.

  4. 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.

    And just think, that wouldn’t even be necessary if House Republicans hadn’t sabotaged that portion of the law six years ago, and then sued to get those payments declared illegal!

  5. John Thune is from South Dakota, not Tennessee. He got his seat in 2004 by beating Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

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