Trump Threatens Health Subsidies to Poor to Force Talks

Candice Alexander
April 15, 2017

But the tax reform and the tax cuts are better if I can do healthcare first, ' Trump told her. He maintains that Republicans must tackle healthcare first, as savings from that effort will help pay for tax cuts to ensure both plans are budget neutral.

Trump, in the interview that aired Wednesday, said, "I haven't really wanted to talk about it".

Trump said, "when I saw that, I said we have to do something".

The AP reports other options to raise money are being shopped on the Hill as well, including one that would create a sort of value-added tax by eliminating the deduction of labor expenses.

Notably, unlike his first attempt at health care reform, Trump declined to put a deadline on his efforts: "I don't want to put deadlines".

The House blueprint, which Ryan rolled out last June, would bring sweeping change to the US tax code by slashing business tax rates by 15 percentage points, allowing companies to immediately write off capital investments and ending taxation of foreign profits of USA -based multinational corporations.

In addition to Healey, Democratic attorneys general for California, Connecticut and the District of Columbia told Reuters they are closely monitoring the administration for any signs it is undermining the ACA.

One of the key claims, Politico says, will be in the area of "accountability", which will entail making the case that Trump is "following through on swamp-draining campaign promises such as lobbying restrictions".

Trump has long offered shifting explanations for why he won't make his tax returns pubic, and earlier this year he said he doesn't think the American public ares about them. The tax reforms as proposed by the Republican Party are substantial and could have a significant impact on business investments and overall economic growth.

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Meanwhile, perhaps having read the writing on the Capitol rotunda wall, the White House is reportedly "going back to the drawing board for Republican consensus to overhaul" the tax system.

Insurers have to submit their rates for 2018 plans over the next several weeks and are grappling with whether they will receive the subsidies, which amount to about $7 billion a year.

The new administration could effectively cripple Obamacare with a pending Republican lawsuit over cost-sharing subsidies that was appealed by the Obama administration and put on hold when Trump took office.

"It definitely looks like they're going to do their own scouting and come up with their own idea", said Alan Cole, an economist at the Tax Foundation. But with health reform standing in the way, analysts now think it won't be until the end of the year, at the earliest, when a tax plan could take shape.

But what is new in the current White House discussions is that the tax break for repatriated foreign profits would replace the massive corporate tax cut that Trump has pushed, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

"Getting it done well and getting it done right is more important than getting it done soon", said Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday. While the failed health care push revealed that relying only on Republican votes to pass legislation is no easy road to success, any tax-cut package that can win Democratic votes is likely to lose even more GOP votes.

Let the Obamacare window close, however, and the chance to work with simple majorities vanishes - plus tax reform becomes that much harder.

Almost everyone in Washington agrees that tax reform won't go ahead without the president.

Peppers said he's also working with Democrats in eastern OH to explain that Trump's budget proposal calls for scrapping the Appalachian Regional Commission and to champion Democratic proposals to spend even more on workforce training in the region affected by the decline of coal.

Other reports by VgToday

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