Trump Threatens to End Obamacare Subsidies, Puts Insurance Markets in Limbo

In the face of facts, expert opinions, and voter voices, Trump continues to put the health of everyday Americans in jeopardy by threatening to withhold important Obamacare subsidies.  The President is simultaneously trying to dismantle a working healthcare law while trying to push an unpopular, rushed bill through Congress.  When he first falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act would collapse, Trump forgot to mention that he would personally have a hand in trying to rip it apart. 


Such sabotage would have immediate and deeply negative effects on the insurance markets:

Politico: “President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants to end payments of key Obamacare subsidies, a move that could send the health law's insurance markets into a tailspin, according to several sources familiar with the conversations.”

Los Angeles Times: “Trump and his aides have repeatedly threatened to withhold the assistance — known as cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs — a move that health insurers warn would sabotage insurance markets across the country.”

The Hill: “But administration officials are wary of ending the lawsuit, because they know that doing so would send the insurance markets into chaos. Insurers have warned of massive premium hikes or threatened to exit the ObamaCare exchanges completely if the payments don’t continue, and recent polls suggest Republicans would be blamed.”

CNBC: “’I don't think any of us have ever seen anything like this. This is not a business problem, this is a failure to govern problem,’ said Robert Laszewski, president of insurance consulting firm Health Policy and Strategy Associates.” ’The Trump administration (seems) to be delighting in sabotaging this, and making it worse so that it serves (its) political ends,’ he said.”


The White House is seeking another three-month delay in the lawsuit over these subsidies continuing to create uncertainty for health insurers and leaving the future of the exchanges in limbo:

Politico: “The Trump administration Monday plans to ask a federal court for another 90-day delay in a lawsuit over Obamacare insurance subsidies, according to two administration sources, leaving the future of the health care marketplaces in limbo through late August.”

“While another delay would stop short of imploding the markets, it still undermines the exchanges, by continuing uncertainty as insurers decide where to offer coverage and how to price it.”


While healthcare associates and government officials try to do their jobs, the Trump administration insists on being an obstacle in the road to progress:

New York Times: “Frustrated state officials have ideas for stabilizing the individual insurance market, but they say they cannot figure out where to make their case because they have been bounced from one agency to another in the Trump administration.”

Politico: “Many of the country's most influential health care associations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday wrote to Senate leaders, warning them of massive coverage losses if lawmakers didn’t immediately rescue the subsidies.”


While Trump refuses to act in the best interests of the American people, voters are making their voices clear on the desire to keep in place a health insurance program that already works for them:

Hart Research Associates: “A majority of voters now have a favorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act (also described in the survey question as “Obamacare”).  Moreover, more than two-thirds of voters reject the claim often made by President Trump that the Affordable Care Act is a failure that will never work well, including 14% who say it is working reasonably well now and 54% who say it can work well in the future with the proper support and improvements.”


Even the citizens who voted Trump into office believe that he is ultimately responsible for maintaining a working healthcare law going forward:

Hart Research Associates: “Indeed, 79% of voters say that Trump has a lot (46%) or some (33%) of the responsibility for whether the ACA succeeds or fails in the next few years; only 21% take his view that he bears just a little or no responsibility for the fate of the Affordable Care Act.  Even among those who voted for Trump, 71% say he owns a lot or some of the responsibility for the future success or failure of the ACA—indicative of the breadth of the opinion that it will be on him if Obamacare fails.”

Politico: “Several polls show that the public would blame the administration and the Republican-controlled Congress if the markets collapsed.”