Trump’s Obamacare Attack Heralds New Healthcare Battles on Capitol Hill

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President Trump’s decision Thursday to cut off crucial health-care subsidies has once again revived the long-running debate over the Affordable Care Act, increasing the potential for a government shutdown in December and making the issue central in next year’s midterm elections.

The move to end insurer subsidies could propel premiums an average of 20 percent higher next year for those who purchase insurance on the individual market, according to a nonpartisan congressional analysis.

Trump and Republican allies defended the move as removing a giveaway for insurance companies, and they blame rising premiums on fundamental flaws in then-President Barack Obama’s signature health-care reform law. But Democrats called it an act of sabotage against the ACA for which the GOP will be held responsible at the polls.

The dispute sets the stage for another wave of political battles over the nation’s health-care system, as Republican lawmakers will need to decide whether to authorize the subsidies through legislation as well as whether to once again attempt a broader repeal of the ACA, popularly known as Obamacare. Democrats could also use a Dec. 8 appropriations deadline to threaten a government shutdown if the subsidies are not restored.

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