Healthcare

Report: Trump’s Obamacare Threats Trigger Premium Hikes

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Trump's rage tweets and threats against cost-sharing subsidies for insurers will lead to double digit premium increases this year for many people.

Most of us expected to see that, but their study also found that Trump's threats to other elements of Obamacare will also lead to higher premiums.

Insurers that assumed that Trump would make good on his threat to stop billions in payments to subsidize copayments and deductibles requested additional premium increases ranging from 2 percent to 23 percent, the report found.

Insurers that assumed the IRS under Trump would not enforce unpopular fines on people who remain uninsured requested additional premium increases ranging from 1.2 percent to 20 percent.

“In many cases that means insurers are adding double-digit premium increases on top of what they otherwise would have requested,” said Cynthia Cox, a co-author of the Kaiser report. “In many cases, what we are seeing is an additional increase due to the political uncertainty.

The bottom line is that premiums are going to go up for most people every year just as they did before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, but premiums will increase even more when the executive branch is explicitly threatening to destabilize the market.

And we're not out of the woods yet. Trump could cut cost-sharing payments at any time and I expect he'll threaten to do so in the coming weeks as Congress decides if we're going to have a government shutdown or not.

  • ninjaf

    When will people see that insurance companies are part of the problem? This shows that they will do what they have to to protect their profits. I don’t blame them for that; it’s how our current system is set up. We need to change that system.

    The Executive branch is actively trying to undermine their profits and they are responding to protect their profits. And consumers are the ones left paying the consequences.

  • muselet

    Others have made this argument before, but it bears repeating.

    … [The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed … (US Constitution, Article II, Section 3)

    Obviously, every administration will prioritize the enforcement of certain laws above others. That’s a given, and only the most rabid partisan does more than have a cursory moan about presidential priorities.

    This is qualitatively different. This is more than just choosing actively to enforce laws A–J rather than laws Q–Z. The Trump administration is deliberately sabotaging the ACA (so, for that matter, are congressional Rs, but that’s a topic for another time). Donald Trump is emphatically not taking care that the ACA is faithfully executed.

    Perhaps it’s my memory playing tricks, but I can’t think of any comparable situation in the past. Say what you will about Richard Nixon—and I’ve said a lot, little of it good—he never pulled crap like this, never undermined constitutional norms with the mindless glee of Trump. He is setting a very dangerous precedent, and no one—especially not congressional Rs—seems particularly concerned about it.

    I never had any confidence that the people around Trump would keep him under control; first, because Steve Burn This Motherfucker Down! Bannon will (seemingly) always have Trump’s ear; second, because those in the Trump inner circle aren’t interested in constitutional norms, either; and third, because Trump handles being told “no” about as well as a two-year-old.

    I have no grand conclusion, no stirring call to action, no soothing “on the other hand” to offer. Because much of the electorate has chosen to be represented by Visigoths, we’re stuck with this unhappy state of affairs at least until the next Congress is sworn in.

    Deep breath, trudge forward, try to make the world a better place without much help from the federal government. It’s not much, but it’s all I have.

    –alopecia

  • Well, of course they are. So my healthy 6 yr old son’s plan, the only one available is going to cost a fortune. And when my husband retires, I won’t be able to afford a plan for myself. Spectacular

    • muselet

      But think about how free you’ll be!

      (Yeah, I know, not helping. Sorry.)

      –alopecia

  • Georgie

    trump is an asshole and I hate him with every fiber of my being. Sigh..

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    But, of course, if/when hikes hit, it’s going to be used as proof of the failure of the ACA.

    In other words: Thanks, Obama!