WASHINGTON- For awhile now, Trump has stated that, since Congress is failing to pass a healthcare repeal, he is going to “let ObamaCare implode.” If Trump lets ObamaCare implode, if he stops funding subsidies for the online insurance marketplaces, then costs for those who already buy insurance will skyrocket. If the goal of Trump’s health policies are to reduce premiums, then this will only make things worse.
Guy Boulton at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
President Donald Trump appears inclined to send rates soaring for at least some health plans sold directly to individuals and families next year, a move that could make health insurance far more expensive for millions of people who don’t get federal subsidies through the Affordable Care Act.
Although congressmen from both parties are discussing ways to prevent such a shock in the marketplaces set up by the law, Trump tweeted last weekend that he wants to “let ObamaCare implode.”
The comment suggests the president will stop funding the additional subsidies that go to lower-income people who buy insurance through the online marketplaces.
While the law protects those people from any large increases by limiting how much they must pay for coverage, the costs of the disappearing subsidies would have to be shifted somewhere — most likely to the 10 million or so people who buy insurance on their own rather than getting it through an employer and who aren’t eligible for federal subsidies.
The possibility is already causing grief for health insurers, who are in the midst of deciding on their 2018 rates and don’t yet know what to expect from the government. It could even push more of them to drop out of the marketplaces altogether. And it is certain to confuse consumers and lead to additional turmoil in the market.
Not funding the subsidies — known as cost sharing reduction, or CSR, subsidies — would raise premiums for the health plans in the exchanges’ mid-level silver tier by 14% to 20%, said J.P. Wieske, Wisconsin’s deputy insurance commissioner.
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.