From the day he was inaugurated through today, President Trump has had it in for the Affordable Care Act.
After months of trying to repeal and replace Obamacare, Congress has moved on to other issues. But there are still things the administration can do — and is doing — to undermine the health insurance markets.
Indeed, Trump has said multiple times he wants to “let Obamacare explode.”
There are three ways his administration is helping things along, and three ways California is trying to counteract the federal moves (see video).
On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office released a report showing how one of the administration’s strategies would impact consumers and taxpayers: a 20 percent rise in premium costs and a $194 billion increase in the federal deficit over the next decade.
This would be the result if Trump follows through on threats to cut off key payments to health insurers, called cost-sharing subsidies. The money is used to give consumers discounts on co-pays and deductibles, which insurers are required to do under the Affordable Care Act. Without the money, insurers would pass on those costs to customers, causing premiums to rise.
But most consumers wouldn’t feel that, because the way the health law is written, they would get extra tax credits to match the increased cost.
So even if Trump cuts the payments to insurers, the overall cost to taxpayers would actually be higher.