Frustrated by the Senate’s failure last week to advance legislation to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump on Monday called for cutting key payments to health insurers and ending a subsidy for Congressional staffers who purchase insurance through the Obamacare exchanges.
“If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?” Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning.
The president’s online comment was similar to one made Sunday on CNN by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, who relayed a conversation he had had with Trump to “State of the Union” anchor Jake Tapper.
“If Obamacare is hurting people — and it is — then why shouldn’t it hurt insurance companies and, more importantly perhaps for this discussion, members of Congress?” Mulvaney told Tapper.
Trump’s social media activity spiked over the weekend as he sought to turn up the pressure on Senate Republicans who last week failed to advance legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in the wake of the failed vote that it was time to move on from repeal-and-replace efforts, but Trump wrote online over the weekend that GOP lawmakers would be “total quitters” if they moved away from healthcare and onto other issues.
The president’s Monday threat that he could cut subsidy payments to insurers, known as cost sharing reduction payments, followed a similar threat made on Twitter over the weekend. Those payments help reduce insurance expenses for some low-income individuals who purchase health coverage through Obamacare and the president’s suggestion that he might cut them has been met by bipartisan opposition.