The chaos that is now Trump Care continues.
This is Trahant Reports.
First, Congress tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by rolling back that law plus the decades long public health insurance, known as Medicaid. That effort failed in the Senate. Twice. But Congress has not given up. There are all sorts of proposals floating around that would try yet again through the budget or another mechanism.
The Trump administration is also sticking with its plan to unravel the Affordable Care Act using administrative authority.
The President signed an executive order that eliminates payments to insurance companies to subsidize the cost of health insurance for families who cannot afford the full cost. Insurance companies will likely increase health insurance premiums — and by a lot — or get out of the individual health insurance market altogether.
The administration’s policy impacts American Indians and Alaska Natives who get their health insurance through the exchanges. Under the Affordable Care Act, many tribal members and Alaska Native shareholders quality for a “bronze plan” from exchanges at no cost. A silver plan could also have been purchased, depending on income, using the subsidized rates.
The Kaiser Family Foundation figures that insurers will need to raise their prices between 15 and 21 percent on average to compensate for the loss of the subsidy.
One interesting twist: Ending the subsidy will cost consumers more in states that have not expanded Medicaid (such as Oklahoma and South Dakota) since there are a large number of marketplace enrollees in those states.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the total payments were $7 billion in this year and would rise to $10 billion in 2018 and $16 billion by 2027.
The subsidies have been controversial from the beginning. The House of Representatives even sued the Obama Administration to try and stop these insurance subsidies arguing that Congress never appropriated the money.
The CBO also said that ending the insurance subsidies will increase federal deficits by $6 billion in 2018, $21 billion in 2020, and $26 billion in 2026.
“Congressional Democrats broke the American healthcare system by forcing the Obamacare nightmare onto the American people. And it has been a nightmare,” President Trump said.
The actions of the Trump administration mean two things: There will be chaos in the insurance markets as companies and individuals rebalance the value of those policies; and there will be litigation ahead because every one of these policy changes will be challenged in court.
I am Mark Trahant.