The head of the House Democratic Caucus blasted Donald Trump on Thursday for threatening to withhold ObamaCare funds that lower health costs for poor Americans, calling the tactic “political blackmail.”
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) called out Trump’s recent suggestion that the federal government could stop payment on billions of dollars in insurance subsidies to force Democrats to work out a deal on health care. It “is a blatant attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and manufacture a crisis,” he said.
“Rather than improving our country’s healthcare system, President Trump is bent on destroying it,” Crowley said Thursday. “His most recent threat — to raise premiums for millions of Americans by withholding the law’s Cost Sharing Reduction payments — amounts to nothing more than political blackmail.”
“This is not leadership,” he added.
This comes after last month’s spectacular failure by House GOP leaders and Trump to repeal and replace Obamacare, despite years of promises to get Obamacare repealed.
The Hill reports:
Eliminating the reimbursements could compel insurers to flee ObamaCare altogether, upending the law’s marketplaces and leaving millions of low-income Americans without coverage.
Trump, who has long argued that ObamaCare will collapse on its own, suggested the resulting turmoil would convince Democrats to reconsider their opposition to the Republicans’ healthcare plans.
“I don’t want people to get hurt,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. “What I think should happen — and will happen — is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) accused the president of risking American lives “to ‘win’ some reality show.”
“The fact that Donald Trump is willing to use American lives as some sort of bargaining chip to force Democratic members of Congress to the table — a table that even Republicans are abandoning — is disgraceful,” Nadler said Thursday.