- Insurers have to propose their 2018 Obamacare prices in coming weeks.
- Uncertainty over the fate of key Obamacare subsidies is expected to lead to higher prices.
- Insurers also could leave the individual health plan market because of that uncertainty.
Democrats are crowing over the Congressional Budget Office projection that the House-passed health care bill would leave 23 million fewer Americans with insurance as of 2027 than if ObamaCare stayed intact — while ignoring the fact that ObamaCare can’t remain intact.
That is, the CBO guesstimates are comparing the GOP bill to a fantasy.
We’ve written before of how insurers are fleeing the ObamaCare exchanges because they’re losing too much money. If the law goes unchanged, the nation will soon start seeing “insurance deserts” where no one’s offering exchange coverage. The CBO doesn’t account for that.
For a myopic view of Obamacare’s effect on small business, one can look at its results in Louisville, Kentucky. The state saw one of the biggest drops in uninsured individuals under the Affordable Care Act, from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 7.8 percent in 2016, largely in part to the state’s expansion of Medicaid. The state operated its own Obamacare marketplace for two years before moving to the federal exchange in 2017, where today only three insurance companies offer coverage on exchange.
Of late, Louisville has become a flashpoint for the GOP to tout its plans to repeal and replace, with visits from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent months to talk about why the ACA isn’t working in the state, or elsewhere.
With concerns rising over the future of financial aid for low-income Americans who rely on Obamacare, senior congressional Democrats have asked the Trump administration for information on talks in which health insurance officials say a senior administration official linked the aid to the industry’s support for House Republican legislation to roll back the healthcare law.
The talks, first reported by The Times last week, occurred in April when a group of industry leaders met with Seema Verma, a President Trump appointee who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and oversees Obamacare insurance markets.
Another year of big premium increases and dwindling choice is looking like a distinct possibility for many consumers who buy their own health insurance — but why, and who’s to blame?
President Donald Trump has seized on early market rumbles as validation of his claim that “Obamacare” is a disaster, collapsing of its own weight. Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Trump of “sabotage” on a program he’s dissed and wants to dismantle.
It’s no secret that my organization, FreedomWorks, had serious concerns with the American Health Care Act. The amendment negotiated by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) to allow states to define their own community rating and essential health benefits was a step in the right direction, but further improvements must be made as the bill works its way through the Senate. As Meadows said during the House debate over the AHCA, “The American people are going to care about one thing, and that’s premiums going down.”
It’s a tall order — especially given today’s political climate and the endless onslaught of liberal outrage.
For Linda Dearman, the House vote last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act was a welcome relief.
Ms. Dearman, of Bartlett, Ill., voted for President Trump largely because of his contempt for the federal health law. She and her husband, a partner in an engineering firm, buy their own insurance, but late last year they dropped their $1,100-a-month policy and switched to a bare-bones plan that does not meet the law’s requirements. They are counting that the law will be repealed before they owe a penalty.
“Now it looks like it will be, and we’re thrilled about that,” Ms. Dearman, 54, said. “We are so glad to feel represented for a change.”
One of the most common reasons critics of Obamacare say the law is “collapsing” is that insurers appear to be fleeing the Affordable Care Act’s health-insurance exchanges, or the state-based, online marketplaces where people can buy individual health-insurance policies.
The fact that one-third of counties are projected to have just one insurer on their Obamacare exchanges this year has been a popular talking point among Republicans—including President Trump—trying to gin up support for their replacement bill, the American Health Care Act.
The stat was echoed in a recent editorial by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, in which he portrayed Obamacare as a house that’s on fire and “many of our fellow Americans are trapped inside.”