Partisan clash on Obamacare raises specter of government shutdown

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If Trump doesn’t deal on DACA, some Democrats threaten a government shutdown

On Oct. 15, users of both parties had sharp terms on the executive order on health-care President Trump signed on April. 13 and called for Congressional actions. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

Democrats accused President Trump of trying to sabotage the nation’s health-care system through his choice to halt payments to insurers designed to shore up the system, while Conservatives countered Sunday that Trump is simply pushing for a hard bargain.

Trump’s decision, announced Friday right after months of criticizing the obligations as an insurance industry bailout, can throw in doubt the private insurance trades that are part of the Affordable Care Take action. Democrats vowed to use year-end discussions on the federal agency budgets as being a leverage point to reinstate the obligations, vowing to pin the politics blame on Republicans if rates skyrocket next year.

“This is the equivalent of health-care arson. He is literally setting the entire healthcare system on fire just because the president is upset that the United States Congress won’t pass a repeal bill,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn. ) stated on “Fox News Sunday.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S. C. ), who has played golfing twice with Trump in the last 7 days, said that the president called Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn. ) Sunday and is “encouraging him to get a bipartisan deal that would have some flexibilityâ€? through the existing law.

“I hope that we can get a deal between Senator Alexander and Patty Murray that would allow us to continue the payments, but get reform,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, referencing the chairman and ranking Liberal on the health committee.

[If Trump doesn’t deal on DACA, some Democrats threaten a government shutdown]

The standoff comes as Trump minds to a potentially pivotal meeting Mon with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky. ), with who the president has publicly clashed since the Senate’s failed vote at the end of July to repeal the ACA. Advisers say the one-on-one speak is meant to get both sides on a single page heading into the critical drop and early winter legislative program as they tackle issues on health care, immigration and federal spending, and others.

Alexander and Murray (D-Wash. ) have been in negotiations over methods to stabilize the ACA markets since Republicans failed in their bid in order to repeal, almost outright, the 2010 health law in late July. The particular bipartisan duo have signaled they are close to a deal, but Conservatives have been demanding some reforms towards the ACA and conservatives in the House have become very wary of the talks, vowing to oppose anything that they look at as a bailout.

“The president is not going to continue to throw good money after bad, give $7 billion to insurance companies unless something changes about Obamacare that would justify it,” Graham said, trying to explain Trump’s statement.

But some moderate Conservatives, as well as GOP governors who assistance the ACA, view those obligations as critical and contend that will without them, millions will lose insurance policy and those that do not will pay significantly more for coverage.

“What the president is doing is affecting the ability of vulnerable people to receive health care right now.  This is not a bailout of the insurers.  What this money is used for is to help low income people afford their deductibles and their co-pays so that their health care is available to them,” stated Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), certainly one of three Republican senators to election against the July ACA repeal work.

“These certainly are very disruptive moves that will result in smaller numbers of people being insured, that will make it more difficult for low income people to afford their out of pocket costs, and that will destabilize the insurance market,” she said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La. ), who worked with Graham last 30 days on a last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA,  defended Trump’s activities, saying “the president’s not gutting the Affordable Care Act.”

He noted the particular ruling of a lower federal courtroom that the subsidies were unconstitutional and really should come from the annual spending expenses passed by Congress, not an automated payment. Cassidy said he desires reforms along the lines of his bill along with Graham that would have given huge powers to states in administering the law.

All of this will probably come to a head in the Dec negotiations over funding federal agencies, one of many combustible issues that Trump and congress must deal with or else risk closing down the federal government in the holiday season.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ) questioned whether Trump fully understands where the Alexander-Murray discussions stand. “I wonder if he even knows what that path is, because, from what he says, it doesn’t sound like he has knowledge, knows the facts,” she said upon ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanapolous”.

Pelosi stated the blame for a shutdown would certainly rest with Trump and Conservatives in control of Congress.   “They have the majority in the House and the Senate and the president’s signature. They have the power to keep government open,” she stated. (***

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