While speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump suggested that subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act helped insurance companies get “rich.”
“As far as the subsidy is concerned, I don’t want to make the insurance companies rich,” Trump said.
Those comments came on the heels of news that the Trump administration pursued a major initiative that would weaken the ACA, or Obamacare, by canceling cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments.
In a statement, the White House explained its decision, saying that it could not “lawfully make” those payments.
“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.
Trump also addressed his path forward for health care reform, adding that he would be willing to work with Congressional Democrats.
“The Democrats should come to me. I would even go to them because I’m only interested in one thing: getting great health care for this country,” the president said.
But in a joint statement on Friday, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) accused the president of engaging in “pointless sabotage.”
“Sadly, instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems President Trump will singlehandedly hike Americans’ health premiums. It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America,” Schumer and Pelosi said.