Trump plays healthcare politics while Americans get stuck with the bill
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After the losing attempt by the Republican leadership to pass some kind of ObamaCare repeal bill, President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE couldn't contain himself.

"As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode, then deal. Watch."

The president considers himself the ultimate deal maker. The name of the game for him always is to win. At all costs.  If the process involves making 6 million Americans nervous, upset and terribly frightened, so be it.

You don't understand — their lives simply get in Trump's way of doing things.

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This president is threatening to do away with cost-sharing reductions. Cost sharing reductions reimburse insurance companies for assuming the costs of low-income people who are seeking to purchase insurance on the private market.

 

These Americans do not have the benefit of employer-based insurance or Medicare. They are on their own and the ObamaCare exchanges are the only place they have a chance to buy insurance for themselves and their families.

If these subsidies are removed, premiums would jump by at least 20 percent, or worse, the insurance companies would leave the market entirely.

On Wednesday, I heard on a Dave Ross segment on CBS radio the voice of a woman in Florida who has an auto-immune condition which profoundly affects her eyesight.

The CSR's allow her to see a doctor and get the necessary drugs that maintain her ability to see. She said that if that help is taken away from her, she would go from "seeing to darkness."

But that poignant and heart wrenching appeal does not seem to affect Donald J. Trump.

Even Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.) has said, "Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions Americans will be hurt."

To his credit Alexander understands and wants to do something about this extremely dangerous situation. Alexander realizes the urgency of the matter.

"We need to put out the fire in these collapsing markets."

But these statements by the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to "stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market" don't appear to move or influence this President.

The payments for August and September are now in doubt.

Trump should be announcing that he will authorize the payments immediately.

He describes the payments as a "bail-out for the insurance companies."

That is not the case.

Making Americans anxious, disturbed and scared is secondary to Trump's goal of constantly and always putting himself first.

ObamaCare was and is not perfect.

Corrections and improvements should be made.

There now seems to be the beginnings of a bi-partisan group in both Houses to produce the required changes.

These members are doing what they have been elected to do. Think and act not for themselves but for their constituents and all Americans.

That is what public service is all about. That is what defines a public servant.

This latest cruel ploy by Trump shows the essential character of the man.

He doesn't mind playing with the lives of people if he thinks it will advance him or his fortunes.

I ask you, when will this stop?

Trump will not change or elevate his behavior. Any obligation to appreciate or value those less fortunate are meaningless to him.

Trump has made "chaos" the hallmark signature of his brief time in office. But even worse, he is totally irresponsible. That personal trait scares me the most.

We, the 320 million citizens of this country, become the victims of this fundamental character flaw.

Quite a price to pay.

Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the "D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station, where he hosted "The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.