Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington

'Death spiral!': Trump is stoking fear that the Obamacare markets will collapse if Congress doesn't act

President Trump prodded lawmakers to act on health care Thursday, writing in a tweet that the Affordable Care Act is in a “death spiral,” and posting a news story about a company withdrawing from the subsidized health insurance market in Virginia.

House Republicans are poised to vote Thursday after resuscitating their plan to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature health care law, adding a $8 billion fix to offset insurance costs for those with pre-existing health conditions. Opponents say the extra money would still leave those with pre-existing conditions vulnerable to huge premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

The cash infusion was designed to win back centrist Republican lawmakers who had threatened to withdraw their support for the effort. Even on Thursday morning, as lawmakers prepared to vote later in the day, Republican leaders were scrambling to shore up the votes to pass the measure.

On the campaign trail, President Trump pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. He suffered a loss of political capital in late March when an earlier bill was pulled from the House floor at the last minute before a vote.

Many health care experts and industry officials believe the marketplaces need to be tweaked, and the withdrawal of insurers has left consumers in some parts of the country with few options. That said, health care experts have not seen signs of a so-called "death spiral" for the exchanges, and have seen enrollment on the marketplaces remain relatively steady, even with recent premium hikes.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
70°