Late on Thursday, Trump announced that he will further sabotage Obamacare by ending cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments that make healthcare affordable for poor people.
The announcement was the second unilateral attack on Obamacare Thursday by the president, who earlier signed an executive order that has the effect of killing the Obamacare health provider market by flooding it with low-cost junk insurance which will make plans for the sick and old unaffordable.
The twin hits to the Affordable Care Act could unravel President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, sending insurance premiums soaring and insurance companies fleeing from the health law’s online marketplaces. After Republicans failed to repeal the health law in Congress, Mr. Trump appears determined to dismantle it on his own.
Without the subsidies, insurance markets could quickly unravel. Insurers have said they will need much higher premiums and may pull out of the insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act if the subsidies were cut off. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments, the subsidies were expected to total $9 billion in the coming year and nearly $100 billion in the coming decade.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in August that about 1 million people would be uninsured in 2018 and insurance companies would raise premium prices by about 20 percent for ObamaCare plans if the payments were cut off.
The CBO also said halting the payments would increase the federal deficit by $194 billion through 2026.
The payments help low-income people afford co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs associated with health-insurance policies. Insurers have called the payments critical, saying that without them, they would have to massively increase premiums or exit the individual market.
Trump tweeted on Friday morning, suggesting further sabotage was in the works: “ObamaCare is a broken mess. Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!”
ObamaCare is a broken mess. Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2017