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Trump: Congress Should Be Paying What Americans Do For Healthcare

President Trump needed just one short tweet on Monday to express his feelings on healthcare. In it, he managed to bash the Affordable Care Act, the insurance industry and federal lawmakers.

“If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?” he asked, according to The Hill. The comment was the president’s latest response to the Senate’s failure to pass Obamacare-reform legislation. Last week, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sided with all the upper chamber’s 48 Democrats in defeating the bill by the narrow margin of 51-49. The vote at least temporarily ended GOP lawmakers’ seven-year effort to repeal and replace the controversial health-insurance law.

Trump has expressed disappointment with the dissident GOP senators, as well as the Democrats, calling them “total quitters.” He and many others were surprised at McCain’s decision. The powerful senator, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been among Obamacare’s critics. However, he said he voted against the Republican-sponsored bill because it did not adequately address the system’s problems. McCain returned to Capitol Hill after doctors had diagnosed him with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Following the health-care vote, he traveled to the Mayo Clinic to receive radiation and chemotherapy.

The president initially vowed to “let Obamacare fail” on its own, rather than support legislation to shore up the program. He now is calling on Congress to come up with another bill to replace what many consider former President Obama’s signature achievement. On Saturday, Trump suggested he might cancel the insurance subsidies that low-income Americans receive to help them afford coverage. He also threatened to take away the insurance packages that taxpayers provide to lawmakers. “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” the president tweeted.

He is targeting the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing-reduction payments that benefit the insurance industry. The Hill noted that it is not the first time Trump has vowed to eliminate the provision. Also under Obamacare, members of the House and Senate get subsidized coverage through the insurance exchange in Washington, D.C. Before the ACA became law in 2010, the politicians were part of the Federal Employee Health Benefits program that also covers government staffers.

A number of conservative organizations agree with Trump regarding insurance for lawmakers. “Senators should finally subject themselves to the same burdens imposed upon their constituents,” Heritage Action President Michael Needham declared in a newly published op-ed in the Independent Journal Review.

According to The Hill, a group of state and national officials gathered at the White House on Monday to discuss a path forward on health-care legislation. GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana joined governors and Health and Human Services Department Secretary Tom Price for the conversation.

The meeting came three days after Trump sat down with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who provided an update on his collaboration with Cassidy and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. to craft a new bill. “I had a great meeting with the president,” Graham said. “President Trump was optimistic about the Graham-Cassidy-Heller proposal. I will continue to work with President Trump and his team.”

Source: The Hill
Photo: The Hill Screenshot, Twitter

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