Dems tying health insurance backing to government shutdown standoff

Mulvaney: Healthcare before tax reform
Mulvaney: Healthcare before tax reform

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Story highlights

  • The payments in question are used to reduce health care costs for low-income people
  • Discussions about tying the funding to the coming showdown were already underway

(CNN)Democrats plan to tie money promised to health insurers to offset Obamacare costs to the coming showdown over keeping the government running, a Democratic source said, following a threat from President Donald Trump Wednesday.

The promise from Democrats comes a day after Trump told the Wall Street Journal he may stop "cost-sharing reduction" payments to health insurers as a tactic to bring Democrats to the negotiating table. The payments are used to reduce health care costs under Obamacare for low-income people.
"I don't want people to get hurt," Trump said in the interview. "What I think should happen — and will happen — is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating."
    A Democratic source told CNN Thursday that discussions about tying the funding to the coming showdown were already underway, but the President "threw gas on the fire" with his threat.
    Democratic leaders immediately slammed Trump's comments Wednesday, but Thursday's news, which was first reported by The Washington Post, is the first indication they are ready to fight back.
    Lawmakers will have just a few days when they return from break after Easter to cobble together a compromise spending bill that keeps the government running past April 28.
    The possibility of a government shutdown if Democrats don't agree to a new spending plan has led Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to caution them of the political peril from a shutdown -- a reference to the 2013 shutdown spearheaded by GOP lawmakers trying to force changes to Obamacare.