President Donald Trump on Monday said he thinks Democratic lawmakers will be scapegoated for turmoil in the insurance market kicked off by Trump’s announcement last week that he would end cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers.
“I think the Democrats will be blamed for the mess. This is an Obamacare mess,” Trump said at a cabinet meeting.
The President said Congress is working on a “short-term fix” for the turmoil caused by his own move to sabotage Obamacare.
“Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer — don’t — you shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore,” Trump said. “When the premiums go up, that has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that we had poor health care delivered poorly, written poorly, approved by the Democrats.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in August, however, that ending CSR payments would drive up premiums for those who benefit from the subsidies.
The White House on Thursday night claimed it was ending the payments because former President Barack Obama’s administration “overstepped the legal boundaries drawn by our Constitution” by making them.
But Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon on Saturday said the White House ended CSR payments to “blow up” Obamacare.
Bannon also said that his priority in the near future is “a season of war against the GOP establishment.”
Asked about his former top adviser’s remarks, Trump on Monday told reporters that Bannon “is very committed” and that he “can understand how Steve Bannon feels.”
“He’s a friend of mine and he’s very committed to getting things passed,” Trump said. “I mean, look. Despite what the press writes, I have great relationships with actually many senators, but in particular with most Republican senators. But we’re not getting the job done.”
“And I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest,” he added. “They are not getting the job done.”
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