WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump declared Monday that his predecessor Barack Obama’s signature reform and expansion of the US health insurance system is defunct, after he cut subsidies to insurers.
“Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone,” he told reporters.
“It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore. It is — and I said this years ago — it’s a concept that couldn’t have worked. In its best days it couldn’t have worked.”
Since becoming president in January Trump has persistently sought to end Obama’s Affordable Care Act, cutting back some government budgetary support and pressing Congress to repeal and replace it.
The effort in Congress though has failed, last week forcing Trump to order an end to the “cost-sharing reduction” program, payments to insurers designed to help millions of lower income Americans afford coverage.
“I knocked out the CSRs; that was a subsidy to the insurance companies. That was a gift,” Trump said.
“The insurance companies have made an absolute fortune with Obamacare,” he said.
But he said that, to protect people who will lose their insurance, the White House is working with Congress for “some kind of a short-term fix” before coming up with a longer term plan.