“OBAMACARE IS dead next month if it doesn’t get that money,” President Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday in a barely veiled threat to defund a crucial part of the Affordable Care Act. The president delivered this threat even though he has no viable replacement plan.
Winning and tax breaks for the rich.
The president’s comments came after he reanimated the drive to repeal and replace Obamacareon Fox Business earlier Wednesday: “We have to do health care first to pick up additional money so that we get great tax reform,” he said. “So we’re going to have a phenomenal tax reform, but I have to do health care first.”
I believe he hates the average American more than he does Assad or Kim.
The indecency of Mr. Trump taking millions of Americans’ health care hostage is compounded by his suggestion that repeal-and-replace is about freeing budgetary space for Republicans to tinker with the tax code rather than about fixing health care. Even posing his threat, meanwhile, is astonishingly reckless.
What Trump should do, number infinity.
Continuing these payments is only the first and most obvious step Mr. Trump must take to shore up the health-care system. The president should continue fighting a lawsuit charging that spending on these cost-sharing subsidies is illegal absent further congressional appropriations, and he should press lawmakers to make those appropriations. He should also direct his administration to enforce Obamacare’s individual mandate, which requires Americans to obtain health-care coverage, so long as the system depends on the mandate to keep markets viable.
CSI : ACA. Trump's fingerprints are gonna be all over it.
“The evidence is strong that the ACA is not dying of natural causes, but with the president’s recent comments it’s clear that it could die of suspicious causes,” says Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan outfit that studies health care. In the current environment, insurers “are just not going to stick around and take big risks,” Levitt tells me. “They’ll just take their marbles and invest elsewhere. It would be a very rational decision.”
The health-care system Trump is now destroying was healthy. A report this month by Standard & Poor’s, the credit-rating agency, found “marked improvement” in the individual market for most Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers, the largest players in the market. They were forecast to be “close to break-even margins” in 2017. The “ACA individual market is not in a ‘death spiral,’ ” S&P reported.
From the Standard and Poor's link.
Looking forward, we expect insurers, on average, to get close to break-even margins in this segment in 2017.
- The U.S. ACA individual market shows signs of improvement, as most insurers' 2016 results were better than 2015 results.
- But the market is still developing and will need a couple more years to reach target profitability.
- 2016 results and the market enrollment so far in 2017 show that the ACA individual market is not in a "death spiral."
- However, every time something new (and potentially disruptive) is thrown into the works, it impedes the individual market's path to stability.