- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 29, 2019

President Trump’s administration is hitting back against Senate Democrats’ effort to keep Obamacare fully intact.

Senate Democrats said this week they intend to force a floor vote to undo the Trump’s administration’s interpretation of “1332 waivers.” The waivers allow states to experiment with their own insurance models in addition to Obamacare, and the Trump administration has adopted the view that the waivers allow states to circumvent the Affordable Care Act.

The Office of Management and Budget [OMB] responded in a policy statement “strongly oppos[ing]” the Democrats’ resolution to eliminate the Trump administration’s guidance.

“This resolution would undermine the Administration’s progress in expanding affordable insurance options for American families, including those harmed by the failing insurance markets created by Obamacare,” the OMB said in a policy statement dated Monday. “The last administration’s guidance harmed Americans by requiring States to meet very exacting and burdensome requirements in order to receive a waiver from the Obamacare requirements. By contrast the Trump Administration’s guidance empowers States with flexibility to work around some of Obamacare’s most glaring failures and to give Americans more options to get health coverage that better meets their needs.”

The Trump administration’s statement pointed out that 13 states have taken advantage of the Trump administration’s guidance. Of those states, the Trump administration said, the statewide average individual market premiums dropped in a range from down 6% in Rhode Island to down 30% in Maryland.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is leading the Democratic push to undo the Trump administration’s efforts to curb Obamacare, and Democrats have said they intend to take action via a vote as soon as Wednesday.

Mr. Schumer has previously taken similar action in an attempt to undermine other Trump administration policy priorities, including on tax reform. Democrats tried and failed last week to reverse the 2017 tax reform legislation that put a cap on deductions for state and local taxes.

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