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Trump: Americans ‘Forced To Live With Imploding Obamacare’

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President Donald Trump announced Saturday morning that federal funding for major health insurance providers and for members of Congress will end if lawmakers are unable to pass a bill repealing and replacing Obamacare.

The president tweeted Saturday morning his frustration with Republicans in Congress that have campaigned for seven years on a platform of repealing and replacing Obamacare, but continue to fail to make good on their promise.

Trump threatened members of Congress, tweeting that “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”

While it isn’t totally clear what the president means when he wrote “BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies,” he could more than likely be referring Obamacare subsidy payments, like cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), that help low-to-moderate income individuals pay for their health insurance.

The Trump administration is funding these subsidy payments on a month-to-month basis.

Insurers are required under the current system to provide CSRs to low and moderate income individuals that participate in the state exchanges. To make consumers put more “skin in the game,” Obamacare effectively raised deductibles to levels that are tough for many Americans to meet without some financial support. CSRs were instituted to help insurers with the costs of the deductibles that patients can’t otherwise meet.

For instance, somebody making $30,000 a year would have trouble paying a roughly $6,000 deductible that is common under the current system. Federal subsidy payments ease the burden on low income consumers and allow them to participate in the state exchanges.

How the program works is rather straightforward: Insurers cover the cost of the patient’s deductible and the federal government reimburses the provider for what they pay out.

The president’s frustration with congressional Republicans has to do with Friday’s health care reform defeat in the Senate, after months of Republican lawmakers pushing to repeal, or repeal and replace, Obamacare.

The House passed a bill to largely repeal and replace Obamacare May 4, after a series of near defeats brought on by in-party bickering between moderate and conservative Republican House members.

The Senate struck down its last-ditch bill to repeal and replace Obamacare early Friday morning in a contentious 51-49 vote. Senators shot down two other proposals on Tuesday and Wednesday — one to repeal and replace Obamacare and another to repeal Obamacare without a replacement.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters Thursday evening before the Senate even released the text of the legislation — the “skinny repeal” — that he did not believe the bill had a chance of becoming law.

The skinny repeal was Senate leadership’s last push to repeal Obamacare, and it was expected to be simply a vehicle to get to a conference with the House. At that point, Republicans would hammer out any remaining differences and hopefully come to a consensus on a bill they could send to President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.

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