Trump's hardball tactic on health care may backfire

Asserting that ObamaCare is in serious trouble, U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said that the healthcare programme will die if it doesn't receive funds to keep it going. He also said Democrats and Republicans are discussing appropriating the money as part of the spending package to keep the government open.

Mick Mulvaney, budget director for President Donald Trump, said on "Fox News Sunday" that he knows GOP leaders are focused on preventing a government shutdown this week ― the government runs out of money on Saturday ― but he sees no reason why Republicans can't repeal Obamacare and fund the government at the same time.

The money is under a legal cloud because of a federal judge's ruling in a lawsuit by House Republicans against the Obama administration.

WASHINGTON ― White House officials are ratcheting up pressure on House Republicans to vote this week to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, even though there is no bill, there is no agreement on what that bill should look like, and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has signaled no interest in rushing to vote on legislation that will fail.

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The cost-sharing subsidies amount to about $7 billion this year.

Monday afternoon Trump posted a tweet claiming his non-existant health care bill, which the White House claims the Senate is writing - the Senate has denied that - would reduce premiums and also, surprisingly honestly, healthcare itself.

Here's how Obamacare figures into the government spending battle. The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday that the subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs, would cost the federal government about $10 billion in 2018. But in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Trump stopped short of demanding that money for the project be included in the must-pass spending bill.

McArthur noted that after more than 50 symbolic votes in the House to repeal the PPACA, and with a Republican president as well as GOP control of both the House and the Senate, there still isn't enough support to accomplish that goal.

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Two leaders of the House GOP's warring moderate and conservative factions devised a compromise during the recess to let states get federal waivers to ignore some requirements of the health law. But once the law required more comprehensive coverage, "what happened was, nobody took it", he said, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect his former employees' privacy.

To compensate, those insurers would have to jack up premiums to cover what they'd spend on helping consumers with deductibles and copayments.

But there are widespread doubts that the new attempt has achieved the support it needs.

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