Muftic: Welcome your new health system: Trumpcare |

Muftic: Welcome your new health system: Trumpcare

Felicia Muftic
Courtesy Photo |

Introducing America’s new healthcare system: Trumpcare.

Donald Trump just broke the old one; he owns the new one. He can no longer blame Congress that also tried to repeal Obamacare and failed because President Trump is the one who broke it all by himself with a couple of his own executive orders. He has refused to “fix” Obamacare.

One of his orders gives consumers a choice of cheaper policies bought through a whole new system, but their new choices will be between bad, worse and useless coverage. Offering these cheaper policies eventually will result in the destruction of a system of affordable comprehensive insurance policies bought through the Obamacare exchanges.

His second order is to end subsidies to insurance companies which makes exchange policies affordable to lower income consumers. All premiums in and out of exchanges will rise , and some have already risen in anticipation of his order. The financial impact of increased premiums will also be felt immediately in everyone’s pockets as insurers scramble to deal with an uncertain, destabilized market. These executive orders are such a fundamental change to the intent and financing of Obamacare that they will result in court challenges which will further drag out uncertainties.

2018 Congressional elections are looming. Political fallout of rising premiums will be felt in time for those November midterms when voters will feel the pain in their pockebooks and realize in real time they just been taken to the cleaners by Trumpcare. .Trump’s threats to stop payments to insurance companies who help low income pay insurance premiums have already caused exchange premium prices to rise in some states since insurers anticipated his move. Per a recent Congressional Budget Office score , the impact on premiums of the payment stop is an average increase of 20 to 25 percent and more insurers may opt to drop out of the exchanges. The CBO also predicts this order will raise the deficit by $194 billion over ten years Congress has the ability to authorize the subsidies.

Trump’s orders include a creation of a new parallel system of cheap association based plans offered to small business employers and individuals who join multi state associations. There will be no requirements for these cheapos to cover anything so essential to many: prescription drugs, hospitalization, low co-pays or affordable deductions, maternity care, cancer screenings Those who choose cheap offerings will get sticker shock, paying full price for needed services not covered by benefits, high deductibles, and reinstatement of lifetime and annual caps on the dollar amounts.

The eventual financial failure of Obamacare is not the death spiral caused by Obamacare (ACA), but it a death spiral engineered by the Trump administration’s association plans . In time, the entire Obamacare private insurance based exchange system will collapse as the parallel association system will destroy the ACA’s “pool” comprised of both those with the healthy who lightly place claims but still pay premiums and those with pre-existing conditions or with health problems who pay the same priced premiums as the healthy. Those who presume they are healthy now and forever will be lured into cheaper stripped down association plans. The result will be virtual high risk pools left to the sicker who will see their premiums soar to become unaffordable or require huge subsidies to keep premiums down. More insurers may also drop out of exchange participation.

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