Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Obamacare rate hikes are coming, and insurers point finger squarely at Trump

Rss@dailykos.com (joan Mccarter) · Saturday, May 20, 2017, 1:40 pm

Obamacare, still not failed but definitely under siege, will be facing another obstacle should Republicans not manage to repeal and "replace" it. Insurers are projecting steep premium hikes for 2018 and are laying the blame squarely on the Trump regime's mismanagement and sabotage.

Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.
At the same time, state insurance regulators—both Democrat and Republican—have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year.

The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management—reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide—undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own.

Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance.

“It’s hard to know who’s home,” one chief executive told the LA Times for this story.  “We don’t know who is making decisions.” A second says "There seems to be no coordination or coherent planning.… It’s a mess." And a third: "There is a sense that there are no hands on the wheel and they are just letting the bus careen down the road." Which is a pretty good description of the Trump approach to the presidency overall.

So that's something lots of Republicans will want to go into the 2018 election with—either a new Trumpcare law that immediately kicks millions off of their health insurance, or sharp premium hikes that are blamed squarely on Trump and his fellow Republicans. Many Obamacare customers will be shielded from the steepest of hikes, which is good, because of the subsidies they qualify for under Obamacare. The bad news is that it means the federal government—taxpayers—is having to pay more precisely because Trump is fucking everything up.


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