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Insurers want to increase premiums by 30 percent or more

05 Agosto 2017, 03:25 | Bibiana Flor

Obamacare seeks to provide that coverage by "guaranteed issue" and "community rating" regulations, forcing insurers to sell insurance to everyone at the same standard rates, no matter how sick and costly when they first apply.

The uncertainty surrounding the payments is only furthering momentum in Congress for a bipartisan fix on health care.

The lack of this guarantee has many carriers reconsidering their plans to participate on the exchanges next year.

According to the data, more than 1,300 counties in the United States will have just one remaining insurer on the ObamaCare exchange in 2018, meaning residents of those counties will be left with little to no options next year when choosing an insurer.

The question for Trump: Will he listen to his own party, experts and voters?

Congress could make more people eligible for subsidies, increase the size of subsidies to get more people to buy insurance, or make the penalties larger so fewer people would opt to pay them instead of buying insurance.

His chief counselor Kellyanne Conway said on 'Fox News Sunday' that he was still deciding whether to act on his threat to end Obamacare's cost-sharing reduction payments.

This does not sit well with insurers, who are growing increasingly antsy over the uncertainty Washington has created around the Affordable Care Act. This appears to be a long shot, but there are enough vulnerable Democrats that it can't be ruled out. "I mean, they have to make up some kind of margin, so in all likelihood, they are going to raise the overall premiums yet again", he said. But since their salaries are too high to get subsidies for premiums, the Obama White House allowed them and members of their staffs to receive funds to purchase insurance on the District of Columbia exchange.

"All eyes in the insurance industry will now be on what Trump administration officials say and tweet", said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The way such an arrangement would work would be a group, say a professional association, to offer group health insurance.

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Watching the wreckage in Congress as Republicans commit political self-immolation over their inability to put Obamacare out of its misery, Mr. Trump shared people's incredulity over the incompetence and rage over the injustice. Nearly 3 in 5 HealthCare.gov customers qualify for the assistance, which can reduce a deductible of $3,500 to several hundred dollars.

Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the influential chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, announced Tuesday that his panel would begin work in early September on legislation to "stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market" for 2018. Two years ago, fully 79% said their side was losing more often, compared with 14% who said it was winning more. If you haven't heard the news on McCain, he was recently diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer. Perhaps Murkowski is still bitter over losing the Republican primary election to Tea Party candidate Joe Miller in 2010, only to secure re-election as a moderate, write-in candidate in the general election against Miller and a Democrat.

That doesn't mean the law will go away.

The cost-sharing-reduction payments are estimated to total more than US$7 billion this year, and help cover costs for about 7 million of the health law's enrollees.

Both Bagley and Jost have followed the issue of the payments closely, and disagree on whether the health law properly approved the payments to insurers.

The cost-sharing payments help people with incomes of 100 percent to 250 percent of the federal poverty level (about $12,060 to $30,150 a year for an individual).

"If Donald Trump won't defend these vital subsidies for American families, then we will", Becerra said.

That means any proposal to repeal ObamaCare-unlikely to garner a single Democratic vote-will have to pass the muster of the Senate parliamentarian, who can strike any provision that is not primarily related to the budget.

The moves were a remarkable response to the president's repeated threats to send health insurance markets into a tailspin.

While that satisfied Democrats and, behind closed doors, many Republicans, it angered many conservatives, who called it an illegal exemption from what should have been the rule.

So Republican senators leave Washington with simmering tensions between them and the White House now out in public for all to see.



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