President Donald Trump Signs Executive Order That Could Gut Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate in January, one of the new president’s first actions in the Oval office
The unprecedented move would, if implemented would trigger an implosion of the Affordable Care Act insurance markets, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Insurers are dependent on that money to make it worth staying in the state-level markets, and without it many would pull out and leave millions without access to healthcare.
Trump has told advisers that he wants to end paying key Obamacare subsidies, a move that would likely send the law’s individual insurance markets into a tailspin. On Tuesday, he said in an Oval Office meeting that he wants to end the estimated $7 billion in annual payments to insurers to help them reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for poorer consumers, approximately 7 million people.
However as politico reported, several of his advisers oppose the move because they worry it would backfire politically if people lose their insurance or see huge premium spikes and blame the White House, the sources said.
Trump calculates that the bold move could force Congressional Democrats to the table to negotiate an Obamacare replacement.
The administration, has publicly gone back and forth on whether he would pay that money, and reportedly is leaning towards stopping the payments to force the healthcare market into chaos intentionally and try to make Democrats negotiate with him on an Obamacare repeal.
Trump reportedly, told aides in a Tuesday Oval Office meeting that he wants to end the payments to insurers because he doesn’t gain anything by continuing them, according to a senior White House adviser. “Why the hell would we?” he asked about continuing the payments, according to the adviser. Trump added that if Congress wants the subsidies, lawmakers would find a way to pay for them, the adviser said.
The administration will have to decide quickly what it’ll do, as it needs to tell an appeals court hearing a case related to the matter how it wants to resolve a lawsuit House Republicans brought in the Obama era claiming that the administration was illegally making the payments without congressional approval.