President Trump’s patience with Congress has run out. After multiple failed attempts to repeal – or repeal and replace – ObamaCare, the president warned on Saturday that he was prepared to end the cost-sharing subsidies paid to insurers if the new health care bill was not approved promptly. But that’s not all: Mr. Trump also warned Congress that the generous healthcare subsidies granted to lawmakers and their staff could also end.
“After seven years of ‘talking’ Repeal & Replace, the people of our great country are still being forced to live with imploding ObamaCare!” the president tweeted on Saturday before sending his final warning to Congress a few minutes later.
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” he added.
Lawmakers, who have until now been shielded from the full effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), do not feel the need to gut Obama’s signature legislation since around three quarters of the cost of their healthcare insurance cover is currently paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Doing away with the generous healthcare subsidies congressmen and women receive would help them see why ObamaCare needs to go. Currently the yearly subsidies granted to lawmakers and their staff range from $6,000 to $12,000.
“Part of the reason Congress is tone deaf on how ObamaCare is collapsing and what the effects are, is they are not feeling it themselves. There’s a real sense that, if they were to end that exemption, they would perhaps better understand how ObamaCare works and the ramifications of not acting to repeal and replace it,” Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak pointed out this week.
With regard to the insurance companies, taxpayers currently bail them out to the tune of $7 billion a year according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Insurers are due to receive an estimated $10 billion next year.
Removing those generous subsidies could, of course, force some insurers to pull out of healthcare markets while those who choose to stay may increase their premiums once again. However, it would undoubtedly speed up the collapse of Obama’s socialized healthcare reform.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently warned insurers that their cost-sharing subsidies may end in the near future as the Trump administration did not support such payments.
“We are looking at the cost-sharing payments on a month-to-month basis. We made them today. We’ll make them tomorrow. But I don’t think we’ll see a long-term commitment from this administration,” Mulvaney said ten days ago.
Will Congress heed President Trump’s warning or are lawmakers willing to be treated like ordinary Americans when it comes to healthcare?Share