(CNN) – After his initial attempt at healthcare failed, President Donald Trump seemed ready to move on, but now he’s pulling a U-turn pushing health care back to the top of his legislative agenda.
Trump said, “The tax reform and the tax cuts are better if I can do health care first.”
Trump is considering scrapping an Obamacare subsidy program that reimburses health insurers for covering low income people.
The provocative idea amounts to a threat to force democrats to the negotiating table or risk seeing insurers pull out of the Obamacare marketplace exchanges immediately without the payments. The move would jeopardize the entire system and putting many low-income families at risk.
Trump told reporters, “I don’t want people to get hurt what I think should happen and will happen is the democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”
The move is not sitting well with democrats. Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, said, “This is so reckless and irresponsible. The president tries to say with a straight face it’s not going to hurt people, but it will simply throw a monkey wrench into the system instead of trying to mess up the system.”
The idea is also being shot down by some republicans as well. Sen Mike Coffman of Colorado, said, “I disagree with the president when he says we should let the healthcare exchanges implode and then democrats will come around. That’s not fair to the people.”
Just as many republicans are back home for a two-week recess and facing major blowback from angry constituents, the Trump administration is insisting their goal to revive health care negotiations is making progress behind the scenes.
Sean Spicer said, “I think we’re getting closer and closer every day”
But sources tell CNN there has been no major shift towards any agreement that can pass yet, and the lynchpin in getting a deal is still bridging the republican divide between conservatives and moderates in the house, which brought down a deal before and is still elusive now.