Donald Trump has taken patients hostage and will only release them if Democrats give in to his demands to repeal Obamacare or pay for his border wall.
Donald Trump has just made it harder for cancer patients to receive the treatment they need, and his White House says the practice will continue until Democrats give in to his destructive demands.
Trump is withholding the cost-sharing reduction payments made to insurers that cover millions of people seeking care across the country.
The decision puts cancer patients in the crosshairs of his administration, and will make them suffer as he tries to show that he is doing something against Obamacare after his attempts to repeal the law have been a complete failure.
Holding patients hostage, Trump is demanding Democrats — who have blasted his decision — come over to the White House and "maybe we could make a deal."
He flippantly dismissed the human cost of his administration's thuggish act. Speaking to the press Friday, he claimed that payments to subsidize insurance for lower-income Americans are "a subsidy for the insurance company, that's not going to people."
Trump: It would be "nice" for Democratic leaders to come to the WH and “maybe” we could make a deal on health care https://t.co/jbw9LYqGth
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 13, 2017
TRUMP: What would be nice, if the Democratic leaders could come over to the White House, we'll negotiate some deal that's good for everybody. That's what I'd like. But they're always a bloc vote against everything, they're like obstructionists. If they came over, maybe we could make a deal. But the subsidy is really a subsidy for the insurance company. That's not going to people, that's making insurance companies rich.
That just isn't true, and there is a human cost to Trump's extortion racket.
Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a statement that these payments "reduce the copays and other out-of-pocket costs that lower-income, working, cancer patients and others pay when they see their doctors and obtain treatment."
"Without those subsidies," Hansen explained, "many patients will not be able to afford to get their recommended care and could delay, or worse, forego necessary cancer early detection tests, treatment and follow-up care."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump's behavior is "a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described it as "an act of pure spite."
Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, played the role of enforcer in an interview with Politico. He said Trump would not support a bipartisan deal in Congress that would fund the subsidies — unless he gets something out of it.
“The president fully expects his priorities to be funded, and the wall is one of them,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney, who earlier this the year said diabetics don't deserve health insurance, called the vital payments "corporate welfare and bailouts."
The comments show that unlike much of what Trump says, the decision to hold cancer patients' heads underwater until they break is not a flippant, off-the-cuff remark. It is a thought-out administration policy, putting lives in danger to extort some kind of legislative victory for the humiliated president who has been unable to get anything significant passed in his first year on the job.
If a few people must be broken to get there, for Trump, it's just the way business operates.