After facing defeat at that hands of its own party, GOP lawmakers are looking to resurrect the Trumpcare bill and force Democrats to the table by withholding approximately $7 billion in insurance subsidies.
On Wednesday, Trump said he was considering withholding cost-sharing reduction subsidies slated to go to health insurers to help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income Americans in a move to force Democrats to negotiate on a new healthcare bill.
The Trumpcare bill, which aimed to begin dismantling and replacing Obamacare, was withdrawn by Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives in late March due to a shortage of votes.
Insurers and major medical groups have warned that not funding the payments could wreak havoc in individual insurance markets, and penned a letter to Trump the same day urging him to maintain funding to the subsidies. The funds cover premiums, deductibles and other medical expenses for the approximately 7 million people who purchase insurance on the individual health insurance market.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians were among the 8 organizations which urged Trump to “remove uncertainty about continued funding for cost sharing reductions” in their letter.
Republicans are betting that Democrats will take the blame for the fallout if the subsidies are withheld and ObamaCare falls apart, but a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that voters would place blame on Trump and the GOP, according to The Hill.
When asked if Democrats or Republicans would be responsible for future problems with the law, 61% of respondents said that the blame would fall on the GOP, which is in control of the government.
Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he thought the strategy would fail, and reiterated the Democrat’s stonewalled position on healthcare.
“Our position remains unchanged: drop repeal, stop undermining our healthcare system and we will certainly sit down and talk about ways to improve the Affordable Care Act,” Schumer said, according to The Hill.
Material from Reuters was used in this article.