Retiring GOP lawmaker: Republicans now ‘own’ ObamaCare
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) argued Friday that President Trump was “ill-advised” to end key ObamaCare payments, warning that the GOP now “owns” whatever happens to ObamaCare.
“I think the president is ill-advised to take this course of action because … we, the Republican Party, will own this,” Dent, a key House moderate who is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, said on CNN.
Asked about Trump’s previous comments blaming problems with ObamaCare on former President Barack Obama, Dent pointed out that Republicans currently control the White House and have majorities in both chambers of Congress.
“Barack Obama is a former president. President Trump is the president and he’s a Republican, and we control the Congress,” Dent said. “So we own the system now. We’re going to have to figure out a way to stabilize this situation … This is on us.”
The White House announced late Thursday that Trump would end the disbursements, known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. The payments are worth an estimated $7 billion this year.
“Based on guidance from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare. In light of this analysis, the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments,” the White House said in a statement.
Critics on Friday slammed the administration for moving to cut off the payments, which are aimed at helping low-income people afford various out-of-pocket costs associated with health insurance.
Insurers have said without the payments, they will either have to increase premiums or exit the individual markets.
Democrats blasted Trump for the decision, with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) calling the decision a “spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage.”
Dent, a co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group who announced his retirement from Congress in September, has been critical of Trump in the past.
Earlier this week he called on fellow Republicans to speak out against Trump. He had also criticized the White House earlier this year for failing to communicate key principles on health-care reform after the GOP’s first major ObamaCare repeal push this year collapsed in July.