President Donald Trump has not given up on the holy grail of repealing Obamacare, and on Wednesday he revealed his next move, threatening to use health insurance subsidies as a weapon to get Democrats to negotiate on reform.
Trump said his administration may not have the legal authority to make cost-sharing reduction payments, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. So-called CSR subsidies reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income Affordable Care Act enrollees, but Republicans in Congress sued the Obama administration, saying they expenditures were not authorized under the ACA.
Trump told the Journal he did not want people to get hurt by stopping the payments, but that what he thinks "should happen… is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating."
Democrats cried foul at the president's apparent hardball tactic.
"President Trump is threatening to hold hostage health care for millions of Americans, many of whom voted for him," said Senate minority leader Charles Schumer in a statement. "This cynical strategy will fail."