As the Trump White House and Republican Congress start to flesh out their replacement plans for the Affordable Care Act, be prepared to hear a lot about “Obamacare orphans.” These orphans have the potential to be one of the most lethal political time bombs in American history.
Most people will think of “Obamacare orphans” as the millions of people who got health coverage because of the ACA and will lose it thanks to the expected repeal of the law by Congress as well as major insurers like Humana pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges.
It looks like there could be a lot of them.
The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed changes to the Obamacare individual insurance market that insurers welcomed as a good start but that others pointed out could raise out-of-pocket cost for consumers.
President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have promised to scrap the 2010 healthcare law that is a key legacy of Democrat Barack Obama’s presidency. But they are struggling to agree on a replacement for the law, which extended health insurance to 20 million Americans.
A Republican Party chairman in Florida’s Pasco County was met with jeers last week when he brought up death panels at a town hall.
“There is a provision in [Obamacare] that anyone over the age of 74 has to go before what is effectively a death panel,” Bill Akins said. “Yes, they do. Yes, they do. It’s in there, folks.”
More than 12.2 million people have signed up for coverage nationwide this year under the Obama-era health care law even with the uncertainty created by President Donald Trump’s vow to repeal and replace it.
A count by The Associated Press shows that many consumers returned to the program despite its problems. Aside from the political turmoil, those difficulties include a spike in premiums, rising deductibles and dwindling choice of insurers.
A sizable minority of Americans don’t understand that Obamacare is just another name for the Affordable Care Act.
This finding, from a poll by Morning Consult, illustrates the extent of public confusion over a health law that President Trump and Republicans in Congress hope to repeal.
In the survey, 35 percent of respondents said either they thought Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were different policies (17 percent) or didn’t know if they were the same or different (18 percent). This confusion was more pronounced among people 18 to 29 and those who earn less than $50,000 — two groups that could be significantly affected by repeal.
It may not crash the economy, but repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act would certainly create job losses in every state.
That’s the consensus of a growing body of studies that suggest the economic fallout from the health law’s partial demise would ripple through the entire economy, not just the health care sector.
There’s a moment in the Broadway musical Hamilton where George Washington says to an exasperated Alexander Hamilton: “Winning is easy, young man. Governing’s harder.”
When it comes to health care, it seems that President Trump is learning that same lesson. Trump and Republicans in Congress are struggling with how to keep their double-edged campaign promise — to repeal Obamacare without leaving milions of people without health insurance.
Republicans are increasingly talking about repairing President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, a softening of tone that comes as their drive to fulfill a keystone campaign promise encounters disunity, drooping momentum and uneasy voters.
GOP lawmakers insist they haven’t abandoned their goal of repeal, though they face lingering disputes about whether that vote should come before, after or simultaneously with a replacement effort.
The Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges have become too risky for major health insurers, and that’s creating further doubt about coverage options consumers might have next year.
Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said Wednesday his company is waiting to see whether the government makes some short-term fixes to the shaky exchanges before it decides how much it will participate next year. The Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier is the nation’s second largest insurer and sells coverage on exchanges in 14 states.
Obamacare looks like it’s going away. Until that happens, big health insurers aren’t sure what to do with it.
Republicans and President Donald Trump haven’t given details on how they’ll repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Uncertainty about the law, which covers millions of Americans, has left companies trying to figure out if they’re better off stuck in limbo or just quitting entirely.