Friday, April 14, 2017

Trump offers Dems a deal: He threatens health subsidies - an offer they can't refuse?

The master deal maker takes a cue from _The Godfather_: “I’m gonna make [them] an offer [they] can’t refuse.”

Except they can refuse.

Here’s the story reported by the New York Times: [Trump Threatens Health Subsidies to Force Democrats to Bargain.

WASHINGTON — In the weeks since President Trump’s attempts to replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed, the administration has debated what to do: Try again? Shore up the insurance marketplaces? Or let the whole system collapse?

Mr. Trump has failed to get enough support from his own party, but he hopes to get the Democrats’ help by forcing them to the negotiating table with hints about the chaos he could cause.

His bargaining chip is the government subsidies paid to insurance companies so they can reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers — seven million people this year.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, Mr. Trump threatened to withhold the subsidy payments as a way to induce the Democrats to bargain with him.

If the subsidies are interrupted, insurers say, some health plans will increase premiums and others will withdraw from the individual insurance market. That will, in turn, affect millions of other people who do not receive the subsidies.

For now, Democrats are resisting and using his maneuver against him to energize their own party. And they warn that Mr. Trump will be blamed if the insurance markets collapse and people lose coverage next year.

Democrats say they will not negotiate with Mr. Trump until he stops his drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “President Trump is threatening to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, many of whom voted for him, to achieve a political goal of repeal that would take health care away from millions more,” said the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York.

“Republicans are in control of government,” Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said Thursday after a town-hall-style meeting in her home state. “If they blow up what access to health care there is right now, they’re going to own it.”

For much more on Trump’s threat, see AZBlueMeanie’s post this morning, Trump to take health insurance hostage – by sabotaging ‘Obamacare’ – unless he gets his way.

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