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Trump's odd threat on Congress health care

06 Agosto 2017, 06:26 | Bibiana Flor

Trump's odd threat on Congress health care

Failed GOP repeal of Obamacare puts onus on Trump to stabilize insurance rates

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia said that even the 38 percent average increase it is seeking was "contingent" on the subsidies being paid through next year.

This does not sit well with insurers, who are growing increasingly antsy over the uncertainty Washington has created around the Affordable Care Act. This year, I joined 114 of my fellow Democratic members - more than half the Democratic caucus - to lend my support.

Doing away with the exemption for lawmakers and their staffs certainly suits Trump's campaign pledge to clean up Washington perks and privilege, said Robert Moffit, senior health policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation. Welcome to the program. If, on the other hand, the payments are mandated by Congress, after all (as the Obama administration dubiously claimed), then Trump has no right to withhold them. "But the run of the mill, the bipartisan legislation, that never gets actual media attention, I think we've had a fairly robust six months".

Major insurers in Georgia and Kentucky were among those that said they could pull out if the federal payments stop.

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 trouble is, ending the subsidies wouldn't "hurt the insurance companies" as Trump suggests. That funding is known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies. That would cause a lot of chaos in the marketplaces.

If Trump makes good on his threat, experts estimate that premiums for a standard "silver" plan would increase by about 19 percent.

President Donald Trump referred to these payments as "bailouts" in a a tweet on Saturday.

Such action by Trump, some political observers speculate, could spur Democrats to come to the bargaining table over the fate of Obamacare.

These problems have been exacerbated by a president who has publicly predicted that the Affordable Care Act will "implode" and appears determined to help fulfill that prophecy.

Meantime his negativity about insurance companies raises a different matter entirely.

That's because insurance companies will charge more in premiums to make up for the lost payments. And that's actually quite damaging in itself. That phrase seems to be a stench in the nostrils of Democrats, even though millions are suffering from the Obamacare system they are so steadfastly defending.

For conservatives and Republicans, you'd have: a relaxed mandate on small business, the elimination of a tax, policies sold across state lines and greater flexibility for states to act in the federalism tradition and do things their own way. Are there lots of people staffing it? We have utterly failed to speak English about why costs are so high, why it's important to get healthy people into a "pool" to spread the costs around for those who do get sick, and how health insurance really works.

President Trump swore in his new chief of staff, John Kelly, on Monday morning, formalizing a shake-up in his top ranks that was announced Friday evening with word of the resignation of Reince Priebus.

But the shred of hope offered by the new, tentative rates could be out the window under a bill in the U.S. Senate that aims to repeal and replace the Obamacare law, OR officials said. Are there some obvious fixes? This is typically called reinsurance. The first read in part: "If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the Exchange the employee will lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes" (See Section 1512, number 3).

"If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn't it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?"

KLIFF: A lot of that depends on where you live.

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