Politics Trump’s threat prompts Democrats to play hardball over Obamacare payments

00:05  14 april  2017
00:05  14 april  2017 Source:   MSN

Trump administration: No decision on key ObamaCare payments

  Trump administration: No decision on key ObamaCare payments The uncertainty is causing problems for insurers planning for ObamaCare next year."The administration is currently deciding its position on this matter," Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Alleigh Marre wrote in an emailed statement.

Follow Congress Stories. Trump ’ s threat prompts Democrats to play hardball over Obamacare payments . Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he might hold back the payments to force Democrats to negotiate over replacing the Affordable Care Act.

XSLTransform Error. Bissett: Plenty of reasons to vote Democrat in March.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) leaves the chamber after the confirmation vote for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch, on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 7. © J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) leaves the chamber after the confirmation vote for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch, on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 7.

Democrats signaled that they will seek to secure payments owed to health insurers under the Affordable Care Act as part of pending negotiations over a government spending bill Thursday — a new wrinkle in sensitive talks that emerged a day after President Trump threatened to use the payments to force Democrats to negotiate a replacement for the ACA.

The “cost-sharing reduction” payments are meant to subsidize out-of-pocket expenses for low-income Americans who receive insurance through ACA marketplaces, and the payments are seen as a key factor in maintaining the stability of the market for individual insurance in many states.

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Senate Democrats reject negotiation ‘with gun to our head’.

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House Republicans sued the administration of President Barack Obama over the payments, and they have been tied up in litigation for months as insurers have warned that the impasse could threaten coverage for many Americans.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he might hold back the payments to force Democrats to negotiate over replacing the Affordable Care Act. “I don’t want people to get hurt,” he told the paper. “What I think should happen — and will happen — is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”

Two Democratic aides familiar with the negotiations but not authorized to comment publicly on them said Trump’s remarks have now put the issue among the party’s top priorities as they negotiate a spending bill. Current federal appropriations expire April 28, and a partial government shutdown would follow if Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on how to extend funding.

Trump Threatens Health Subsidies to Poor to Force Talks

  Trump Threatens Health Subsidies to Poor to Force Talks President Donald Trump might withhold payments under Obamacare that are used to help poor people afford medical services in order to force Democrats to negotiate changes to the health law, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. Those payments to lower-income people, called cost-sharing-reduction subsidies, have been at the center of an almost three-year legal battle between Republicans and Democrats. The payments are used to help poorer people in Obamacare afford copays and other cost sharing for medical services. Without them, they might not be able to afford to get care.

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Both Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are determined to use Democrats’ leverage in the spending fight to force the Trump administration to make the insurance payments, the aides said.

Republicans have their own demands — including funding for the southern border wall supported by Trump and also a provision that could block federal funding for “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. But any spending bill will have to win some Democratic support to reach a 60-vote threshold in a chamber where Republicans have a 52-vote majority.

Trump maintained Wednesday that he, not Democrats, hold the leverage: “Schumer should be calling me up and begging me to help him save Obamacare,” he told the Journal. “He should be calling me and begging me to help him save Obamacare, along with Nancy Pelosi.”

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  Trump administration issues final rule on stricter Obamacare enrollment <p>The Trump administration on Thursday issued a final rule that will shorten the Obamacare enrollment period and give insurers more of what they say they need in the individual insurance market, likely making it harder for some consumers to purchase insurance, healthcare experts said.</p>It could also raise out-of-pocket medical expenses, the experts said, because it gives insurers more flexibility in determining the value of their coverage.

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A Pelosi aide said Trump’s stance on withholding the payments “will increase costs, is a threat to the good health of the American people and a threat to keeping government open.”

Stephen Worley, a spokesman for Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), declined to comment.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday that Democrats “will not negotiate with hostage takers.”

“There is no outcome in which the administration sabotaging insurance markets persuades Democrats to pass Trumpcare, a disastrous proposal which would only make our health care system worse,” Wyden said in a statement responding to Trump’s remarks. “When the president drops his threats on Americans’ health care — including the latest threat to withhold insurance payments, which he clearly understands puts people’s care in danger — Democrats will be prepared to work on bipartisan improvements to the Affordable Care Act.”

Trump: ObamaCare will die without 'big money' .
President Trump said early Sunday that ObamaCare will die "far sooner than anyone" thought if it doesn't receive federal funds to keep it going. ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going - otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.

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