Trump threat: End health pay­ments un­less there’s an over­haul

Woonsocket Call - - Nation/world -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Satur­day threat­ened once more to end re­quired pay­ments to in­sur­ance com­pa­nies un­less law­mak­ers re­peal and re­place the Obama-era health care law.

In ap­par­ent frus­tra­tion over Fri­day's fail­ure by the Se­nate Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity to pass a bill re­peal­ing parts of the Af­ford­able Care Act, Trump tweeted: "If a new Health­Care Bill is not ap­proved quickly, BAILOUTS for In­sur­ance Com­pa­nies and BAILOUTS for Mem­bers of Congress will end very soon!" No Democrats voted for the GOP bill. Re­peal-and-re­place has been a guid­ing star for Repub­li­cans ever since Pres­i­dent Barack Obama en­acted the law in 2010. That goal, which Trump turned into a top cam­paign prom­ise, re­mains out of reach even with Repub­li­cans con­trol­ling both the White House and Congress. The is­sue has dom­i­nated the open­ing months of Trump's pres­i­dency.

But Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R-Ky., said af­ter the bill failed early Fri­day that he would move to other leg­isla­tive busi­ness in the up­com­ing week.

Trump also tweeted: "Un­less the Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors are to­tal quit­ters, Re­peal & Re­place is not dead! De­mand an­other vote be­fore vot­ing on any other bill!"

The sub­si­dies, to­tal­ing about $7 bil­lion a year, help re­duce de­ductibles and co­pay­ments for con­sumers with mod­est in­comes.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion used its rule-mak­ing author­ity to set di­rect pay­ments to in­sur­ers to help off­set these costs. Trump in­her­ited the pay­ment struc­ture, but he also has the power to end them.

The pay­ments are the sub­ject of a law­suit brought by House Repub­li­cans over whether the Af­ford­able Care Act specif­i­cally in­cluded a con­gres­sional ap­pro­pri­a­tion for the money, as re­quired un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion. Trump has only guar­an­teed the pay­ments through July, which ends Mon­day.

Trump pre­vi­ously said the law that he and oth­ers call "Oba­macare" would col­lapse im­me­di­ately when­ever those pay­ments stop. He has in­di­cated a de­sire to halt the sub­si­dies but so far has al­lowed them to con­tinue on a month-to-month ba­sis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.