President Trump has renewed his efforts to play politics with Americans’ health care by threatening to cancel payments that help lower people’s deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.
Words matter. And even though he’s yet to act on it, Trump’s threats to sabotage the Affordable Care Act have real consequences for Americans’ health care in states across the country. Take Arizona and Iowa, for example.
In Arizona, the marketplace insurer in 13 out of 15 counties, Blue Cross Blue Shield, is already planning to increase average rates next year by 7.2% because of Trump’s threats. Without Trump’s threats to eliminate these payments, the rates would be flat.
President Trump has already succeeded in destabilizing Iowa’s health insurance marketplace. Only one insurer, Medica, plans to sell individual plans in 2018. Medica has already proposed raising premiums by 43%. This week, they announced they would raise premiums by an additional 12-20% if the president decides to default on CSR payments.
Insurers in states such as California and Pennsylvania have already announced two set of rates for next year — one for if Trump sabotages and the other for if he doesn’t. Other states that have released higher rates blame Trump as well — in Colorado it means rate increases nearly 30% more for next year.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s leading hospital and doctor’s organizations agree that Trump’s threats to withhold funding will increase premiums and could mean insurers will leave the market.
If the president follows through with his threats, premiums will increase by an estimated 19% nationwide. His actions are only going to hurt the most vulnerable among us.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore