It seems that the Trump administration can’t to decide whether Obamacare (ACA) will “explode” or “implode”. Different members of the GOP use these words interchangeably, seemingly unable to get their talking points synchronized. What all such statements have in common is the absolute lack of evidence or statistics that any such thing is actually going to happen.
Sure, premiums are going up but these memory-impaired politicians forget that premiums increased every year prior to the ACA being passed. Accepting those with pre-existing conditions was always going to cause a spike in rates until the pool stabilized, but to claim that premium increases only started after ACA was passed is just, well, a lie.
Oh, and I am amused that many of these same talking heads often reference the high-deductible plans that are the result of ACA. Excuse me? Actually, ACA made plans with deductibles like $7500 and $10,000 illegal! Once again, that information does not fit the GOP current agenda regarding the ACA, which is primarily “The sky is falling, run tell the King!”.
However, the message has continued to be that ACA is failing and that the public must accept whatever cobbled together mess the ruling party can come up with. One has to wonder if they have painted themselves into such a corner that the next step will be to torpedo the ACA themselves since it won’t fail on its own as they have predicted. There are many ways to do that even though the public, and some of their own party, have strongly denounced the plan they initially offered.
One way they can start that is by having the Justice Department stop defending the suit filed by the GOP House against President Obama in 2014 claiming that cost-sharing subsidies provided to some people to lower deductibles and out of pocket expenses are not legal. If Trump orders the Justice Department to stand down on the suit, then the plaintiffs prevail and the cost sharing subsidies disappear. If the insurance companies do not receive those subsidies, then they would either have to spike rates or drop out of the markets.
According to an article in The Hill on Tuesday, the Trump administration has not decided what to do. Insurance companies are clamoring for some direction because they can’t plan for 2018 unless the money is appropriated or the lawsuit defended. Only time will tell whether Trump will attempt to destroy the ACA himself or risk the possibility that the public’s growing affection for Obamacare will continue.