Trump’s Efforts to Sabotage ObamaCare Now Include Bribing Health Insurance Companies

Donald Trump made repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) a key plank in his campaign platform. It became the first legislative project of his administration. But after four months of his presidency he has failed to deliver on his promises. Consequently, he is seeking other routes to force his anti-healthcare policies onto a nation that wants to keep and improve ObamaCare.

Donald Trump

Trump has repeatedly claimed that ObamaCare is dead. It isn’t. However, Trump is doing everything in his power to murder it. Just his false characterizations of it being in a “death spiral” makes insurance carriers nervous and unwilling to expose themselves to that artificially created risk.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Trump has approached health insurance providers with an offer to put more money in their pockets. The proposal involves the funds paid by the government for the premium subsidies that make health insurance affordable for low-income Americans. These are called “cost-sharing reductions,” or CSRs. Trump has been threatening to cut off this funding in his quest to cripple ObamaCare. But his offer comes with a caveat. In exchange for continuing the CSRs, the providers must support his wildly unpopular bill to kill ObamaCare. That’s the bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives. The Senate is not expected to take it up. So offering to retain the CSRs in exchange for political support amounts to a bribe.

What’s more, Trump is effectively admitting that he is lying about ObamaCare being dead. His threat to ax CSRs undercuts the claim that insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own. The Times notes that the more likely cause of chaos in the industry is Trump himself:

“Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.

“At the same time, state insurance regulators — both Democrat and Republican — have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year. […]

“Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance.”

Trump’s Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, Seema Verma, made the politically motivated bribe in a recent meeting with providers. According to the Times she told them that Trump “would fund the CSRs if insurers supported the House Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.” But the providers were less than receptive. In fact, they later signed on to a letter sent to the Senate spelling out their concerns. The signatories include a broad array on health industry players. They include: America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Benefits Council, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The preamble to their letter says that:

“[W]e are writing again to you as leaders in Congress to express our serious concerns about the continued uncertainty around funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. There now is clear evidence that this uncertainty is undermining the individual insurance market for 2018 and stands to negatively impact millions of people.”

In addition to using the CSRs to bribe insurance companies, Trump has used them to blackmail Congress. Politico reports that he is employing a tactic aimed at forcing Democrats to negotiate. Even though “Many 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.”

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In any case, it’s a cynical move where the potential victims are not members of Congress, but average Americans. Trump is holding a virtual gun to the heads of citizens and telling Congress he’ll shoot if they don’t pass his bill. Between that threat and his bribery of insurance carriers, Trump’s proving that he couldn’t care less about the American people. They are merely hostages in his quest to give the wealthy tens of thousands of dollars in tax cuts. And if 24 million people lose their health insurance, that isn’t his problem.

UPDATE 5/22/17: Democrats in Congress are requesting information and documents pertaining to this attempted bribe/hostage taking by the Trump administration.


5 thoughts on “Trump’s Efforts to Sabotage ObamaCare Now Include Bribing Health Insurance Companies

  1. Trump lying, who could have guessed.
    I am still trying to find out how anyone can support him.

  2. The piece of feces, who is representing all things Republican, has very little concern for the American people, as he dictates orders to his minions on his very tiny staff, and so many of his staff are in debt to the Russians. He is unable to have any empathy since he still thinks he is the smartest person he knows. That limitation, vastly unfounded based on his IQ, means he can not respect anyone else. He’s a whiny spoiled rich brat and will continue to use the office for his own personal wealth as he destroys our economy. He’s in debt to Russia, they financed his ‘golf clubs’, because he’s lost all credibility as a capable Businessman since he’s had to declare Bankruptcy 5 times. That lack of any skill is what Republicans admire, since the Republicans did choose him to represent their Republican Family Values. The fact Donnie boy refused to serve in our Nation’s Military, 5 Draft Dodges saying he was far to “disabled” by a disappearing ‘bone spur’ to be able to be a man in our Nation’s Military, which he denounces regularly, means he is a loser. Why did any Veteran vote for this Cowardly Republican to lead our Military?

  3. He is by far the worst president we have ever had. The list of why’s is endless and getting longer each day . He is simply a showman with little knowledge of the world, less knowledge of the geo-political world, uncanny inability to understand the needs of anyone who is not in his limited political radar, boorish, shows almost no sensitivity to understand that sometimes and more than sometimes ,what comes out of his mouth and what he tweets is so crass and hurtful that he is an embarrassment the the role of a president .
    Hopefully, the Republicans would have the guts to allow the investigation to continue without any interference from them, their operatives, their demented allies and fox false news.
    Should the conclusion require impeachment then be it, but expect Pence to pardon him as Nixon, I am not a crook was, by another political coward , Ford.

    uninpeded mopedede by

    • He made George Bush very happy by stealing the “worst president” honors.

  4. Amazing what just over 3 months of Trump has done to this country. I still have difficulty that the Republican party has not labeled as the heinous group of people masqurading around as the party who is going to make America again while almost everything they have done too date has been just the opposite.
    MOVING MONEY FROM THE POOR, THE ELDERLY, THE INFIRM, THE NEEDY, THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO MAINTAIN A DECENT LIFE, while giving the vast bulk of the savings which “punishes” the rest of the 90% of the people to the upper 5% of the OLIGARCHY.

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