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Tuesday, Jun 6 2017

Trump’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act costs the people of Ohio

Jun 06, 2017

Donald Trump is overtly sabotaging insurance markets as he pushes Trumpcare on the country, and it’s now costing Ohio. Today, Anthem announced that as a result of Trump destabilizing the market, they will no longer offer Affordable Care Act health insurance plans in Ohio.

This news comes after Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to unilaterally cut-off ​Affordable Care Act funding that ​is critical to 7 million working Americans having health insurance, which is roiling markets.

​”Donald Trump is sabotaging the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and the people of Ohio are going to pay the price. Trump’s efforts to deliberately undermine the insurance markets are hurting people right now, and his reckless behavior is unconscionable,” said American Bridge spokesperson Harrell Kirstein. “Ohioans deserve far better. It’s time for Donald Trump and Republicans in Ohio to side with the majority of the American people who want them to work across the aisle to improve the Affordable Care Act instead of actively sabotaging the health insurance market.”

Trump himself has said that holding these payments hostage is a political negotiating tactic intended to pressure Democrats into supporting Trumpcare, and in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Trump even acknowledged that acting on his threat would hurt people.

The threat itself is hurting people in Ohio right now. And this is being enabled by Republicans like Congressman Jim Renacci (OH-16), who support Trumpcare and failed to protect the Buckeye State from Donald Trump’s sabotage of their health care.

Trump’s hostage strategy has destabilized American insurance markets at a time when health insurers face deadlines for the coverage they will offer consumers next year.  As a result, people in many places across the country – and now including Ohio – will be hurt because of the completely needless uncertainty that Trump is causing.

​Recently the health insurance industry, as well as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Trump and congressional Republicans to fully fund these Affordable Care Act subsidies and calm insurance markets, but their request was not accepted.

​Trump not only continues to hold cost-sharing subsidies hostage, but has also indicated that he may not enforce the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which would further drive-up prices, and is contributing to instability in the insurance market.



  • ​Wall Street Journal, 4/12/2017“Nearly three weeks after Republican infighting sank an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump dug back into the battle on Wednesday, threatening to withhold payments to insurers to force Democrats to the negotiating table.”
  • ​Axios, 5/2/2017“Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney reopened the debate over Affordable Care Act payments to insurers this afternoon, suggesting at a White House briefing that the Trump administration hasn’t decided whether to provide the May payments for cost-sharing reduction subsidies.”​


America’s Health Insurance Plans, et al. in Letter to Donald Trump, 4/12/2017“A critical priority is to stabilize the individual health insurance market. The window is quickly closing to properly price individual insurance products for 2018. The most critical action to help stabilize the individual market for 2017 and 2018 is to remove uncertainty about continued funding for cost sharing reductions (CSRs)….We urge the Administration and Congress to take quick action to ensure CSRs are funded.“

​Additional organizations that signed the letter:​

  • American Academy of Family Physicians

  • American Benefits Council

  • American Hospital Association

  • American Medical Association

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

  • Federation of American Hospitals

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce


​Vox, 5/8/2017“The administration has been aggressively ambiguous about key policy issues, like whether it will enforce the health care law’s individual mandate or pay out insurance subsidies aimed at the lowest-income Obamacare enrollees. In response, insurance executives tell Vox they will charge steeper rates in 2018 in order to avoid losing money. Others are quitting the marketplace altogether, saying the future just looks to uncertain to take a gamble.​”

  • Robert Laszewski, Health Policy and Strategy Associates, 5/8/2017“The health plans I work with want to stay in, but the Trump administration is not making that easy…”

  • Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich, 5/8/2017“It’s pretty clear we need more certainty to be able to file the rates assuming we get those federal payments…Short of that, we’d have to assume they’re not being paid.”

Avalere President Dan Mendelson, 5/10/2017“The administration is leaving considerable uncertainty as to what’s going to happen next year…The [cost-sharing reduction] money is currently a significant political football that’s going back and forth, and that kind of uncertainty kills markets.”

Bloomberg, 5/9/2017“Health insurers are asking for sharp increases in the cost of their Obamacare plans next year, thanks to instability in the law’s coverage markets that’s been compounded by the Trump administration.”

  • Bloomberg, 5/9/2017“‘Failure to enforce the individual mandate makes it far more likely that healthier, younger individuals will drop coverage and drive up the cost for everyone,’ Chet Burrell, chief executive officer of CareFirst, said in a statement. The insurer is asking for an at least 50 percent increase in premiums in Maryland. Burrell said uncertainty over the mandate played a ‘significant role’ in the insurer’s rate requests.


​Kaiser Family Foundation, 4/6/2017“​A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that the average premium for a benchmark silver plan in Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces would need to increase by an estimated 19 percent for insurers to compensate for lost funding if they don’t receive federal payment for ACA cost-sharing subsidies….Among 12.2 million people who selected a 2017 ACA marketplace plan, about 58 percent, or 7.1 million, are receiving cost-sharing reductions.”

Published: Jun 6, 2017

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