Trump urges Repub­li­cans not to give up on US health care

Se­nate Repub­li­cans fail to re­peal even a few parts of Oba­macare

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT / INTERNATIONAL - Su­san Corn­well

US PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day urged Repub­li­can sen­a­tors not to give up try­ing to pass a health­care bill, af­ter they failed last week to muster enough votes to re­peal and re­place parts of Oba­macare.

For the sec­ond day run­ning Trump tweeted his im­pa­tience with Congress’ in­abil­ity to ac­com­plish its seven-year goal of re­plac­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture health­care bill com­monly known as Oba­macare.

“Don’t give up Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors, the World is watch­ing: Re­peal & Re­place…” the pres­i­dent said in a tweet.

Failed votes

On Fri­day, Se­nate Repub­li­cans failed to muster enough votes to re­peal even a few parts of Oba­macare. That capped a week of failed Se­nate votes on whether to sim­ply re­peal, or re­peal and re­place the law.

Con­gres­sional lead­ers have sug­gested that they are ready to move on to other is­sues, but Trump over the week­end seemed un­will­ing to let the mat­ter go.

On Sat­ur­day the pres­i­dent said in a tweet that “if a new Health­Care Bill is not ap­proved quickly, BAILOUTS for In­sur­ance Com­pa­nies and BAILOUTS for Mem­bers of Congress will end very soon!”

That ap­peared to be re­fer­ring to the ap­prox­i­mately $8 bil­lion (R103.76bn) in cost-shar­ing re­duc­tion sub­si­dies the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pays to in­sur­ers to lower the price of health cover­age for low-in­come Amer­i­cans.

Con­gres­sional lead­ers have sug­gested that they are ready to move on to other is­sues.

The sec­ond part ap­peared to be a threat to end the em­ployer con­tri­bu­tion for mem­bers of Congress and their staffs, who were moved from the nor­mal fed­eral em­ployee health­care ben­e­fits pro­gramme on to the Oba­macare in­sur­ance ex­changes as part of the 2010 health­care law.

Re­spond­ing to Sat­ur­day’s tweet, Se­nate Demo­cratic leader Chuck Schumer said that if the pres­i­dent car­ried out that threat, “every ex­pert agrees that (in­sur­ance) pre­mi­ums will go up and health care will be more ex­pen­sive for mil­lions of Amer­i­cans.”

Some con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans have said they are try­ing to find a way for­ward on health­care. – Reuters

PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump yes­ter­day tweeted ‘Don’t give up Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors, the World is watch­ing: Re­peal & Re­place…’

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