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No new subsidies: Sununu wrong to want them restored

October 17. 2017 11:57PM

Gov. Chris Sununu is asking President Donald Trump to restore federal subsidy payments to insurance companies selling policies through the Obamacare exchanges until Congress can pass a bill to fix the crumbling system.

This is exactly wrong.

First of all, the payments were illegal. A federal court held that the Obama administration exceeded its authority to spend money never authorized by Congress. Trump should have stopped the illegal spending on Jan. 20.

Secondly, giving the subsidies back to insurance companies would remove their incentive to get on board with any fix. As long as taxpayers are bailing out their losses, why should insurance executives lean on Democrats to back any change to the failing health care law?

Republicans have shown, many times, that they lack the political will to follow through on their endless promises to repeal Obamacare. But there is plenty of room for improvement short of repeal. There is even a chance for bipartisan cooperation.

That chance would disappear if the Trump administration ignores the law, and takes improper steps to shield Democrats from the consequences of their bad votes.

New Hampshire’s Democratic congressional delegation wants to get money flowing again to insurance companies to prop up the exchanges. Republicans should insist on getting rid of the mandates that doomed Obamacare from the start.

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