Trump says he might cripple ObamaCare to force Democrats to negotiate a replacement bill

President Trump is facing a rocky first 100 days in office.
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump has said on several occasions that Republicans would be smart to let the Affordable Care Act just collapse on its own so Democrats would be forced to help negotiate a deal to replace or radically change the law. Now, he's threatening to push ObamaCare over the cliff himself. Trump wants to use billions in subsidies to help low-income people afford health care as leverage to drag Democrats to the negotiating table, Politico says, citing "three administration officials with knowledge of Trump's thinking." Trump told The Wall Street Journal the same thing in a 70-minute interview on Wednesday.

Former President Barack Obama approved the estimated $7 billion in cost-sharing subsidies, which help insurance companies pay customers' medical bills. Scrapping the subsidies would likely crash the ObamaCare individual marketplaces. "ObamaCare is dead next month if it doesn't get that money," Trump told The Wall Street Journal. "I don't want people to get hurt," he added. "What I think should happen and will happen is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer "should be calling me and begging me to help him save ObamaCare, along with Nancy Pelosi," the House minority leader, Trump said.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.