The newest “repeal and replace” healthcare plan will NOT be voted on today. Hurray! What a relief—for now.
Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act remains in the hands of its enemies and they have shown they are willing to hold it and its beneficiaries hostage.
A few days ago, the White House proposed an exchange of payments for President Trump’s wall for continued funding of the Cost-Sharing Reduction payments (CSRs) provided for in the Affordable Care Act. The administration said, in so many words, “For each dollar towards President Trump’s wall, we will not stop a dollar of Obamacare CSR funding.”
Stated otherwise, “we will not make health insurance unaffordable, if you will pay for the wall.”
CSRs are government subsidies provided for in the Affordable Care Act. They are paid to insurance companies to offset the cost of insurance for low-income families. Without CSR payments, health insurance for those families would be unaffordable.
The proposed “deal” (or threat) was met with immediate, negative political and industrial response. As a result, President Trump backed off both wall funding and the withholding of CSR funding—for now.
Republican hostility for the Affordable Care Act remains and the withholding of CSR funding is just one of the several tools in Republican hands to promote their self-fulfilling prophecy of “implosion.”
With the Trump administration, and a Republican-controlled Congress, it is hard to see this ending well for low-income families in need of health insurance. It has been made clear that political victories (and walls) are more important than American lives.
Resistance should remain on high-alert.