Monday, October 16, 2017

Call It Something Else

You can’t call it Obamacare anymore.

The twin hits to the Affordable Care Act could unravel President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, sending insurance premiums soaring and insurance companies fleeing from the health law’s online marketplaces. After Republicans failed to repeal the health law in Congress, Mr. Trump appears determined to dismantle it on his own.

Without the subsidies, insurance markets could quickly unravel. Insurers have said they will need much higher premiums and may pull out of the insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act if the subsidies were cut off. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments, the subsidies were expected to total $9 billion in the coming year and nearly $100 billion in the coming decade.

It wasn’t perfect, mainly because Republican governors, including Florida’s Rick Scott, refused to go along with the Medicaid expansion, and the rest of the GOP did everything they could to destroy it as it was being implemented.  But even with their best — or worst — efforts the law was providing health insurance to more people and making it more affordable.

But now it’s the Republicans’ problem.  Trump did their bidding, and while he has his own infantile reasons for trying to destroy it, the turd of what’s left of healthcare insurance now lands squarely on the shoes of the Republicans.  If the Democrats have any smarts about how to win an election — a dubious proposition — they will make the Republicans own it from now on.