Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

National Nurses United worked with the Sanders Institute on Friday to deliver a paper on single-payer healthcare to every member of Congress.

National Nurses United worked with the Sanders Institute on Friday to deliver a paper on single-payer healthcare to every member of Congress. (Photo: YouTube)

Trump Threatens Coverage of Millions as Sanders Confronts Congress With Facts on Single Payer

The president will decide this week whether he'll continue payments that control healthcare costs for Americans

Julia Conley

Following the failure of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, President Donald Trump is on a mission to allow the law to "implode" by halting all subsidy payments to insurance companies—while progressives led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are seizing the opportunity to push for single-payer healthcare.

Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that Trump will decide this week whether to make good on the threat he made over the weekend to allow the ACA, also called Obamacare, to implode by ending cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies.

The Obama administration set up the payment system in which the government pays a total of about $7 billion per year to insurance companies; the subsidies allow insurers to keep patients' costs down.

On Saturday, as the Republican leadership regrouped following the defeat of its healthcare bill, Trump referred to the payments as "bailouts" and threatened to end them as well as the federal government's contributions that help cover insurance for Congress members. An end to the payments would raise premiums by nearly 20 percent for millions of Americans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A lawsuit filed by the House Republicans against the Trump administration regarding the payments has already created volatility in the markets, as the GOP has falsely argued that the federal government doesn't have the authority to make payments to insurance companies.

On Monday, Trump again suggested on Twitter that payments to insurance companies should stop.

Meanwhile, the Sanders Institute, run by Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, teamed up Friday with National Nurses United to deliver a paper on single-payer healthcare to the offices of every member of Congress. The paper lays out the immense costs of the current system and notes the savings that would come with a federally-funded healthcare system:

Supporters of our market-driven model typically sabotage efforts to provide Medicare for all by focusing on how we would pay for it. This is disingenuous. We are already paying for it; we're just not receiving it. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. healthcare expenditures already come from taxpayers in the form of federal, state, and local government spending...The comparisons of U.S. spending and health outcomes to other countries strongly suggest that there is enough money in our current system to provide healthcare for all, if we spend that money fairly and wisely...There is enough money currently being spent on healthcare in the U.S. to provide Medicare for all.

The paper is just the latest action taken by the growing contingent that supports a single-payer system. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has urged centrist Democrats to support single-payer, offering voters a true alternative to the Republican Party, which last week saw 50 of its 52 senators vote in favor of a healthcare plan that would strip tens of millions of Americans of their healthcare over the next decade. Sanders has also vowed to introduce a Medicare for All proposal on the Senate floor in the coming weeks, telling CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, "We're tweaking the final points of the bill and we're figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together."

Recent polls show that Americans are warming to single-payer healthcare. Sixty percent told the Pew Research Center in June that the government should provide healthcare to citizens, and 33 percent said they favored single payer—up five percentage points from January and 12 points from 2014.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

"We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo