Trump Axes Crucial Healthcare Subsidies

I have said over and over that malice is the driving force of Donald Trump's presidency, and here is yet more abominable evidence: Late last night, he made another unilateral decision to destroy the Affordable Care Act, which stands to harm millions of people.

Ed Pilkington and Sabrina Siddiqui at the Guardian report:
Donald Trump has planted a timebomb under Obamacare, issuing a notice late on Thursday night that scraps vital federal subsidies underpinning the current healthcare system.

The late-night move caught critics off guard and brought immediate accusations that Trump was unilaterally destroying his predecessor's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, after the Republican-controlled Congress failed to secure changes. The announcement stops federal support of up to $7bn (£5.27bn) to insurance companies to help them cover the medical needs of low-income Americans.

The Trump administration sought to lay the blame for the current crisis in healthcare on former president Barack Obama, claiming the federal subsidies, known as "cost-sharing reduction payments," were unlawful and "yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system."

On Friday morning Trump claimed in a tweet that "the Democrats [sic] ObamaCare is imploding" and appeared to call on the Democrats to negotiate with him over healthcare legislation.

"Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped," he wrote. "Dems should call me to fix! ... ObamaCare is a broken mess. Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!"
By way of reminder, not that anyone who's paying a modicum of attention could possibly forget, the Democrats have been trying to improve Obamacare, but the Republican Congress refuses to work with them, instead spending all their time and energy trying to blow it up. And if Trump was genuinely interested in a "fix," then he wouldn't have spent the entire day undermining it.
The attack on the federal subsidies came as a double blow to Obamacare, just hours after Trump had already lashed out at his predecessor's healthcare reforms by issuing an executive order unilaterally weakening the system. In that order, the president opened the door to cheaper and less comprehensive insurance, which experts predict will result in health plans for the sick becoming more expensive.

Thursday night's second blow could prove the more deadly of the two as it is targeted at the very foundations of the insurance structures created under Obamacare. A study by the Congressional Budget Office two months ago suggested that terminating the cost-sharing subsidies would lead to a dramatic 20% rise in the average cost of the most popular plans offered by the Affordable Care Act, as well as worsening the federal deficit by almost $200m.
None of this is about providing better healthcare. It's about trying to dismantle President Obama's legacy. Everything anyone needs to know about Donald Trump is summed up by this: He hates the signature accomplishment of a Black man more than he cares about the lives of millions of citizens of the country he is meant to lead.

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