President Donald Trump's threat to stop billions of dollars in government payments to insurers and force the collapse of "Obamacare" could put the government in a tricky legal situation.
Legal experts say he'd be handing insurers a solid court case, while undermining his own leverage to compel Democrats to negotiate, especially if premiums jump by 20 percent as expected after such a move.
"Trump thinks he's holding all the cards. But Democrats know what's in his hand, and he's got a pair of twos," said U-M law professor and IHPI member Nicholas Bagley. Democrats "aren't about to agree to dismantle the Affordable Care Act just because Trump makes a reckless bet."
For months, the president has been threatening to stop payments that reimburse insurers for providing required financial assistance to low-income consumers, reducing their copays and deductibles.
Administration officials say the decision could come any day.
"The ACA promised to make these payments — that could not be clearer — and Congress has done nothing to limit that promise," said Bagley.