President Donald Trump crossed a line last week and finally “went rogue,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She blasted him for taking a blowtorch to health care, equal protection for women and the Iran nuclear deal.
“This week, the week of Friday the 13th, is the week that President Trump went rogue,” Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said in an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “He went rogue on women’s health in particular, the Affordable Care Act, the Iran decision that he made. And he continues his war on the middle class with his unfair tax plan.”
Pelosi focused her remarks on Obamacare, Trump jettisoned the Obama administration mandate requiring employers to provide birth control coverage in workers’ health insurance plans. He issued a new rule that allows employers to refuse to do so on religious or moral grounds.
On Thursday, Trump announced he was ending federal subsidies to insurers serving the lowest-income Americans on Obamacare insurance exchanges. Almost 6 million people qualified for the subsidies when they enrolled this year, according to government data. Trump also weakened requirements that insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions and essentials like maternity care, and opened the door for insurance companies to sell plans across state lines. The changes are likely to roil the market with major impacts on costs and benefits.
“It’s going to hurt kids. It’s going to hurt families. It’s going to hurt individuals. It’s going to hurt people with mental health issues. It’s going to hurt veterans,” said Pelosi. “It’s going to hurt everybody.”
The changes in Obamacare, which face court challenges, appeared to be in part an attempt by Trump to force Congress — including Democrats — to succumb to his demands to scuttle the Affordable Care Act or drastically pare it down. Trump tweeted that Dems “must get smart and deal!”
Asked if Democrats were ready to negotiate with Trump, Pelosi responded: “I think we’re a little far down the road for that.” Trump “says repeal and replace,” Pelosi said. “Where is the replace? We haven’t seen anything.”
She slammed the “wholesale chaos that he’s inflicting on the system” and said Trump either “doesn’t know” the havoc he’s wreaking — or “he doesn’t care.”
“What he’s doing is hurting the American people,” she added. “This isn’t about policy or politics. It’s about the American people.”
Trump’s former White House strategist Steve Bannon said Saturday that Trump cut Obamacare subsidies to deliberately destroy the health care program.