US President Donald Trump threatens to end healthcare payments if Obamacare is not repealed

July 30, 2017 10:30 pm

 Protesters carry signs during a healthcare rally in front of Trump Tower in New York City on July 29, 2017. (AFP photo)

Trump has threatened to end government payments to health insurers if Congress does not pass a new healthcare bill, despite studies that show repealing Obamacare would leave millions of Americans without health insurance.
Trump made the warning in a Twitter message on Saturday even as a new survey shows that a majority of Americans want to either keep or modify the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law popularly known as Obamacare.
The federal government pays approximately $8 billion a year in cost-sharing reduction subsidies to insurers to lower the price of health coverage for low-income Americans.
In April, Trump threatened to end the federal payments to health insurers if Democratic lawmakers refused to negotiate over the healthcare bill.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Saturday that if Trump carried out that threat, “every expert agrees that (insurance) premiums will go up and health care will be more expensive for millions of Americans.”
“The president ought to stop playing with people’s lives and health care, start leading and finally begin acting presidential,” Schumer said in a statement.
On Friday, Trump again suggested his administration would let the Obamacare program “implode.”
Hundreds of counties are at risk of losing access to private health coverage in 2018 as insurers consider pulling out of those markets. Trump has weakened enforcement of Obamacare which requires individuals to buy insurance and sought to change plan benefits through regulations.
Experts say the GOP plan to replace Obamacare would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured over 10 years.
On Friday, the Republican-controlled Senate failed to pass legislation to repeal Obamacare, another humiliating defeat for Trump.

Protesters carry signs during a healthcare rally in front of Trump Tower in New York City on July 29, 2017. (AFP photo)

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Saturday shows nearly two-thirds of Americans want to either keep or modify Obamacare, and a majority of Americans want Congress to turn its attention to other priorities, the survey found.
The law, which helped 20 million people obtain health insurance, has steadily grown more popular.
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