President Donald Trump had a surprising reaction to the latest Obamacare repeal failure in the Senate. He used it as evidence that he was right after all in arguing that Republicans should let Obamacare implode in a death spiral before doing anything, because then it’ll be impossible for anyone to support Obamacare.
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
Personally, I’m not all too certain about the logic. After all, Obamacare has been a disaster since its roll-out (remember the launch of heathcare.gov?), and twice as many Americans polled say the law has hurt them rather than helped them (and that’s from a CNN poll of all places!).
That hasn’t stopped Democrats from fear-mongering about how “thousands will die” in absence of Obamacare (here’s a summary on why that’s a bogus claim, and that the opposite is true), because facts don’t matter to liberals.
Still, allowing Obamacare to implode is a viable new strategy in light of failed attempts, and it’s something Trump could force to happen – at any time. Yesterday President Trump tweeted the following:
If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017
That tweet seemed to be a restatement of a separate tweet of Trump’s from Saturday:
If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
The references to insurance companies and the one to letting Obamacare “implode” are all reference to cost-sharing payments which are paid directly to insurance companies. I’ve described these so many times that I’ll let the Associated Press do it this time:
The subsidies, totaling about $7 billion a year, help reduce deductibles and copayments for consumers with modest incomes. The Obama administration used its rule-making authority to set direct payments to insurers to help offset these costs. Trump inherited the payment structure, but he also has the power to end them.
The payments are the subject of a lawsuit brought by House Republicans over whether the health law specifically included a congressional appropriation for the money, as required under the Constitution. Trump has only guaranteed the payments through July, which ends Monday.
Cutting off the payments would lead to numerous insurers dropping out of the exchanges and that would mean large areas of the country (the ones that already have just one insurer) left with zero plans available. Just last week, Anthem said it was waiting to see what happened with the cost-sharing payments to decide if it would pull out of additional states.
Here’s Trump talking about his intention to let Obamacare explode:
Since Republicans failed to repeal Obama’s health care takeover, Trump’s strategy may guarantee Obamacare’s failure for good.
As a master negotiator, Trump will force the hand of those unwilling to reform Obamacare. And he’ll do it by using what he knows best: money.
What do you think? Should Trump let Obamacare fail? Tell us your opinion below and share this story on Facebook and Twitter!