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27 April 2017, 02:14 | Dan Bryan
Trump tweet-threatens imminent end of Obamacare
If Congress and President Trump decide not to fund Obamacare-related payments to health insurers, the federal government's cost could increase by $2.3 billion in 2018, a study released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation says. This still appears to remain a sticking point in negotiations for a governmentwide spending bill while the White House has dropped its demand for funding for the wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.
Though Republicans have control of Congress, they have yet to send the GOP president a single major bill, such as an ObamaCare overhaul.
The money is under a legal cloud because of a federal judge's ruling in a lawsuit by House Republicans against the Obama administration.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told GOP members on a conference call Saturday that Republicans will only bring health care legislation to the floor when and if it has the votes to pass, saying the House will instead focus next week on approving spending legislation to avoid a government shutdown, according to a GOP source on the call. The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday that the subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs, would cost the federal government about $10 billion in 2018. Go figure, 80 percent of Americans think a president should make government work. In his first months in office, Trump has said he was open to a bipartisan approach but has put the onus on Democrats to offer concessions and predicted that Democrats would have to come to him "after Obamacare explodes".
The cost-sharing subsidies amount to about $7 billion this year. But in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Trump stopped short of demanding that money for the project be included in the must-pass spending bill.
GOP leaders have shown no desire to revisit ObamaCare until they're assured they have enough votes to succeed, a point Ryan reiterated to lawmakers Saturday, according to participants in the call.
An initial attempt in March ended in a legislative train wreck, stinging Trump and Ryan.
To appease rebellious conservatives, McArthur--co-chairman of a group of House moderates--brokered an amendment that would allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions in states that have a waiver. But once the law required more comprehensive coverage, "what happened was, nobody took it", he said, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect his former employees' privacy. Those include one that now requires insurers to cover specified services such as for mental health, and one that bars them from raising premiums on seriously ill patients.
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