The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Donald Trump is threatening to hold hostage billions of Obamacare dollars used to pay the health care bills of the poorest Americans, unless Democrats agree to his Affordable Care Act repeal proposal.
The payments are used to reduce copayments and deductibles for poor people.
So Trump is literally proposing to use the lives of poor Americans as human shields, cutting off their access to health care unless Democrats agree to cut off their access to health care.
It’s classic Trump, brazen and politically tone deaf. The GOP repeal effort was already dead in the water, as a result of it simply being too extreme. Millions of Americans on Obamacare suddenly realized they liked their health insurance and its guarantees more than they had previously thought, and turned out at Republican congressional townhall meetings, hooting and hollering at their elected officials, effectively scaring the hell out of the less extreme elements in Congress.
But even that earlier proposal, which would have cut off health to care to millions and removed a core element of the pre-existing conditions protects, wasn’t as cold-hearted as Trump’s latest threat: to literally cut off poor Americans’ access to health care.
Sadly, concerns that Trump would try to undermine the Affordable Care Act to force it to fail, appear to be well-founded.