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President Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday morning with a threat: Republicans might just let the Affordable Care Act “crash and burn” if Democrats don’t work with the GOP on healthcare.
“Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats,” Trump tweeted. “Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!”
The tweet comes as the Senate is expected to vote this week on the Republican leadership’s healthcare bill, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
No Democrat is expected to vote for the bill and five Republican senators have already come out and said they will not support the legislation in its current form. Since only two Republicans can defect in order for the BCRA to pass, the biggest obstacle for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting his own party’s members on board.
Trump has consistently floated the idea of letting Obamacare’s individual insurance exchanges “collapse” as a back-up plan if a Republican healthcare bill does not pass. His administration has also introduced a higher level of uncertainty around critical market stabilization measures that has already led to insurer exits and higher premium increase requests for 2018 than there would have been otherwise.
Trump’s team offered a tempered endorsement of the BCRA at the end of the week, with Trump saying that the bill needs a “little negotiation.”
But the BCRA gets to the heart of one of Trump’s campaign promises: to not cut Medicaid. The BCRA would reduce the current path of Medicaid funding by billions of dollars over the next 10 years, though Trump surrogates argued over the weekend that the decrease in funding growth are not cuts.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release a score for the BCRA on Monday, and a vote on the bill could come as early as Thursday.