Published: Wed, August 02, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Donald Trump's Congressional health care threat has some problems

Donald Trump's Congressional health care threat has some problems

They can make a big difference to Obamacare enrollees. He just "needs to feel like he's doing something", many White House insiders have realized.

"The Constitution requires the president to "take care" of laws faithfully executed.These payments were never authorized by Congress, so the Take Care Clause actually prevents him from making them", said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. Here's a look at Trump's claim, and the reality.

"If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!"

The President has a message for lawmakers: pass health care reform or live under ObamaCare like the rest of Americans.

After a failed vote early Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was time to "move on" from health care.

The problem was that state exchanges were set up for people whose employers don't offer insurance coverage and therefore have to purchase coverage on their own. Most were kicked out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which other government workers use. Previously, members of Congress obtained coverage directly through their employer (the federal government), just as about half of Americans now receive coverage through their employers. Employer contributions cover around 72 percent of the plans legislators now choose to purchase.

Not all members of Congress are on the D.C. exchange. Previous year about 85 percent of people who bought Obamacare insurance got a credit, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Sen. John McCain gets his coverage from the Department of Veterans Affairs as a former Navy pilot, although he is being treated for his recent brain cancer diagnosis at the Mayo Clinic. Sen.

He also questioned why Congress shouldn't be paying the same as the public.

Congress has an even lower approval rating than the president, and lawmakers frequently have been criticized for putting themselves above the legislation they pass.

Insurance companies have until late September to raise rates and finalize their coverage areas for 2018.

Withholding the monthly subsidy payments for low-income Americans would weaken the insurance market and accelerate ObamaCare's collapse, experts said.

Trump only has control over the payments because the House sued the Obama administration in 2014, arguing that the payments required congressional approval.

The subsidies are estimated to total about $7 billion.

Trump is showing Congress - and the media - that he is willing to incur the political cost of letting Obamacare crash. Trump has the power to mess with that, but he could face lawsuits from unhappy legislators.

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