Since the failed attempt to repeal Obamacare last week, President Trump has initiated his plan to deal with it. The proposed action, to end bailouts, has its merits. One being that it would save around $300 billion, but the arguments aren’t being made in terms of economy.
In what some described as a “retaliatory” action, the President sent out a Tweet signaling his intention. Not only to end the bailouts for Insurance companies, but the bailouts for Congress as well.
If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
If he moves ahead with this, it is likely that Congress will react in one of two ways. They will fold or they will fight; and if they fight, they will lose come the next election cycle.
Congress will be stuck between a rock and a hard place. To fight against cutting the bailouts, they will have to explain to the taxpayer why their money should be used to help Big Business (Insurance) at the expense of other “more worthy” programs. The Administration is well aware that this could carry on for a prolonged period. However, come election time, they will be in the “anti-Corporate Cronyism” position.
Democrats specifically, should be worried about keeping Obamacare “as is.” It is their voting demographics that the current system most negatively impact. According to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, at the end of last year, around 27 million (non-elderly) people were without adequate healthcare under Obamacare. The numbers are as follows:
- 7 million people (43 percent of the uninsured population) are eligible for financial assistance to gain coverage through either Medicaid or subsidized coverage through the government exchanges
- 4 million are ineligible for coverage due to immigration status
- 5 million are ineligible for financial assistance due to ESI offer (i.e., employees’ state insurance)
- 3 million are ineligible for financial assistance due to income
- 6 million fall into the coverage gap where they do not meet state Medicaid eligibility requirements and earn too much to qualify for ACA subsidies
Meaning that key Democrat voter demographics have not benefited in any meaningful way from Obamacare. Up to 40% of those affected are Hispanic, which leaves some large questions for them to defend in an election campaign.
While President Trump’s tweet may sound like, and be characterized as, another “mean tweet,” it does have serious weight behind it. Consequences for both Democrat and Republican lawmakers if they fail to get the job done. The media and pundits may laugh it off, but you can bet that legislators are taking it to heart.