Sunday, August 06, 2017

Idaho turns on Trump in wake of big health insurance premium hikes, demands Congress act (joan Mccarter) · Tuesday, August 01, 2017, 9:42 am

This is something you don't see … ever. Idaho's very Republican insurance commissioner is very pissed at popular vote loser Donald Trump and the Republican over big Affordable Care Act premium increases announced by insurers—an average 38 percent hike, with 50 percent hikes for some silver plans.

Idaho said the proposed increase for silver plans was because of "the potential refusal by the federal government to fund the cost share reduction mechanism."
Insurers are required under law to lower co-pays and deductibles for lower-income Obamacare customers, with the government reimbursing them. But the Trump administration has not decided if it will make the payments in 2018.

President Trump has repeatedly said he wants to let Obamacare implode as a way to get Democrats on board for repealing the law.

Idaho's insurance director, Dean Cameron, said the uncertainty is leading to price increases.

"I call on Congress to either repeal the CSR requirement or fund the program," he said. "That action alone would reduce the proposed increase by at least 20 percent on the silver plans."

Idaho's is an oddity among red states in that it chose to create its own exchanges, though it did not take Medicaid expansion. The state has actually invested in making it work, and has had healthy enrollments. So the anger on the part of Cameron, a former Republican state legislator, is real. At the same time, the state's not in any danger of its congressional delegation doing a damned thing about this.

However, this kind of criticism coming from a state like Idaho should make Republicans who maybe care about their jobs consider doing something before it gets much, much worse.


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