One of Donald Trump’s major campaign promises (other than immigration) was getting rid of Obamacare and replacing it with something better.
Dismantling and repealing the (Un)Affordable Care Act is going to be a herculean task – and even Congress is taking a long time to figure out that monstrosity – perhaps too long in the president’s mind -as he’s told them to speed up.
In the meantime, he’s taking a big step to at least keep the current program from immediately crashing and burning.
The New York Times reports the Trump administration is proposing new rules to help stabilize the health insurance market.
The rules are intended to limit opportunities for people to hold off on buying insurance until they get sick, a phenomenon that has loaded many health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act with more expensive, sick customers than insurance companies expected. By manipulating a system that now precludes insurers from rejecting customers with pre-existing medical conditions, consumers are avoiding the purchase of insurance when they are healthy and rushing in when they need it, insurers say.
The rules would require consumers to provide “supporting documentation” to prove they are eligible to enroll in health plans through HealthCare.gov outside the standard open-enrollment season.
Insurers increased premiums for midlevel health plans sold through HealthCare.gov by an average of 25 percent this year, and in many counties, only one insurance carrier is participating in the exchange.
The proposed rules address concerns that insurers have been expressing for several years. The Obama administration eventually acknowledged some of the problems, but it was slow to take remedial steps that could have reduced coverage or enrollment, an all-important measure of success for Mr. Obama.
Large insurance companies continue to bail out of Obamacare with Humana being the most recent to jump ship saying it would no longer sell insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces because it was losing money, with too many sick people and not enough healthy ones enrolling. The company scaled back its participation to 11 states this year, from 19 in 2016.
The rules sound reasonable, right? Well not if you’re the New York Times, because then you have to find an angle which is negative.
A major goal of the rules is to make sure public insurance marketplaces, created under President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, do not collapse in 2018. But, health policy experts said, Republican efforts to repeal the law are working at cross purposes, compounding the uncertainty and instability in markets that were already shaky in many states when President Trump took office.
Not exactly sure how these two things are at cross purposes. Liberals are the first to say you can’t repeal without having something to replace AND the program is FINE — it just needs a few nips and tucks here and there.
So when the Trump administration takes some common sense moves to help stabilize the plan as it is until an alternative is devised, of course it’s relentlessly attacked.
The lovely Chuck Schumer weighed in saying, “Congressional Republicans’ reckless and irresponsible plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is already taking health care away from the American people and causing confusion and instability in the insurance market,” said the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York. “Anyone losing access to their insurance has only President Trump and congressional Republicans to blame.”
Seriously? Did he just forget the last 8 years?
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]