Trump ‘disrupts’ access to affordable health care

HOPE YEN | 10/23/2017, 7:44 a.m.
A key moderate Republican urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to back a bipartisan Senate effort to shield consumers from ...
President Donald Trump speaks to the 2017 Value Voters Summit, Oct. 13, in Washington. Trump’s decision to end a provision of the Affordable Care Act that has benefited an estimated 6 million Americans helps fulfill a campaign promise, but it also risks harming some of the very people who helped him win the presidency. Nearly 70 percent of those benefiting from the so-called cost-sharing subsidies live in states Trump won last November, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. Evan Vucci

On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., described Trump’s demand for a sit-down with congressional Democratic leaders as “a little far down the road.” She noted the bipartisan effort in the Senate and said ultimately it will be up to a Republican-controlled Congress and executive branch whether the federal government can avert a shutdown by year’s end.

The government faces a Dec. 8 deadline on the debt limit and government spending.

“We’re not about closing down government. The Republicans have the majority,” Pelosi said. “In terms of the health care, we’re saying ‘Let’s follow what Sen. Murray and Alexander are doing.”

Collins praised the Senate effort so far, which included public hearings by the Senate health and education committee. Still, she acknowledged a potentially tough road in reaching broader agreement.

“I hope we can proceed, but Democrats will have to step up to the plate and assist us,” said Collins, who is a member of the committee. “It’s a two-way street.”

Johnson stressed the same message about both sides working together.

“it is important we work together in Congress to provide all Americans with access and affordable health care without driving up costs that will ultimately cut their coverage. We should continue to listen to how our constituents and those across the nation are personally impacted by the health care system, instead of making unilateral decisions that can ultimately harm millions,” Johnson stated.

The scrapping of subsidies would affect millions more consumers in states won by Trump last year, including Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, than in states won by Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nearly 70 percent of the 6 million who benefit from the cost-sharing subsidies are in states that voted for the Republican.

Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio said Sunday his state had anticipated that the insurer payments would be halted but not so quickly. He called for the payments to be reinstated right away, describing a hit to Ohio – a state also won by Trump last November – for at least the “first two or three months.”

“Over time, this is going to have a dramatic impact,” Kasich said. “Who gets hurt? People. And it’s just outrageous.”

Nineteen Democratic state attorneys general have announced plans to sue Trump over the stoppage. Attorneys generals from California, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York were among those saying they will file the lawsuit in federal court in California to stop Trump’s attempt “to gut the health and well-being of our country.”

Collins appeared on ABC’s This Week and CNN’s State of the Union, Pelosi also spoke on ABC, Graham appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation, and Kasich was on NBC’s Meet the Press.