Politics

Trump Threatens To Withhold Insurance Payments For Poor

| by Michael Allen

President Donald Trump threatened on April 12 to withhold health insurance payments that cover poor people under former President Barack Obama's health are plan, Obamacare, unless the Democrats agree to a new health care plan.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he was not sure if his administration would keep paying the cost-sharing reduction payments required by the Affordable Care Act law, notes CNN.

The payments help reduce high copayments and insurance deductibles for people with low incomes.

During a web briefing with journalists on April 6, Gary Claxton, a Kaiser Family Foundation vice president, described what would happen if Trump were to stop the insurance payments, notes ThinkProgress: "If they stopped making payments immediately, I don’t think insurers would continue to participate through the remainder of this year, because they would take substantial losses. They would leave as soon as they were legally able to."

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"I don't want people to get hurt," Trump told The Wall Street Journal. "What I think should happen -- and will happen -- is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating."

Trump also admitted that he was worried about his own administration being responsible for Obamacare.

"That's part of the reason that I may go the other way," Trump stated. "The longer I'm behind this desk and you have Obamacare, the more I would own it."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer hit back in a statement, notes CNN: "This cynical strategy will fail. President Trump is threatening to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, many of whom voted for him, to achieve a political goal of repeal that would take health care away from millions more."

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According to the cable channel, about 7 million people who signed up for health insurance under Obamacare for 2017 qualify for the government subsidies that Trump is thinking about not paying.

Trump signed a bill on April 13 that could reduce health care for women.

According to The Hill, Trump reversed a rule by the Obama administration that banned states from blocking Title X federal funding for health care providers that do pregnancy medical care, contraception, fertility, cancer screenings and abortions.

Republicans have said this gives states the discretion to decide how to spend federal dollars, but Democrats insist it is an anti-abortion attack on Planned Parenthood.

Penny Nance, the president of the anti-abortion Concerned Women for America, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, who heads the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, were on hand to watch Trump sign the bill.

Nance posted a picture of herself with Trump, Dannenfelser and others at the bill signing on Instagram with the caption: "Signing of pro-life bill hjres43 with [Trump]."

Sources: CNN, The Hill, Penny Nance/InstagramThinkProgress / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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