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Trump Threatens to End Bailouts & Obamacare Payments Unless a Repeal Bill Passes

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Published on: July 30, 2017

Taking his usual stance at the Twitter bully pulpit, President Donald Trump launched a warning, and some might consider it a threat, to end Obamacare payments and insurance bailouts unless a repeal bill passes Congress.

On Friday, the Senate failed to produce any kind of bill that would repeal Obamacare, and that was due in part to RINO Republicans like Senator John McCain.

President Donald Trump expressed disgust with the Senate.

“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” Trump tweeted.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “After seven years of ‘talking’ Repeal & Replace, the people of our great country are still being forced to live with imploding ObamaCare!”

He immediately followed up that tweet with, “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”

Zero Hedge points out the following of how Trump could make good on his threat.

This is not the first time Trump has made a similar threat: the president previously threatened to withhold Cost Sharing Reduction payments, or CSR, which lower the amount individuals have to pay for deductibles, co-payments and insurance.

While the White House announced earlier this month that key ObamaCare subsidies to insurers would be paid this month, the administration did not make a commitment beyond July.

Trump’s threat may have a significantly adverse impact on the insurance sector when it opens on Monday.

As Bloomberg notes, there are two key ways the President of the U.S. could undermine the law: asking his agencies not to enforce the individual mandate created under Obamacare; and stopping funds for subsidies that help insurers offset health-care costs for low-income Americans.

Both moves could further disrupt the Affordable Care Act’s individual markets and eventually lead to higher premiums, or rather even higher premiums that Obamacare itself has led to.

Where does this leave Trump’s implosion threat?

One of the first steps the president could take would be to stop the monthly CSRs. The administration last made a payment about a week ago for the previous 30 days, but hasn’t made a long-term commitment.

Trump has called the subsidies a “bailout” for insurance companies in the past, and he just did it again on Saturday.

“We are still considering our options,” Ninio Fetalvo, a spokesman for Trump, said in an e-mail. Meanwhile, America’s Health Insurance Plans, a lobby group for the industry, said premiums would rise by about 20 percent if the payments aren’t made. 

Many insurers have already dropped out of Obamacare markets in the face of mounting losses and blamed the uncertainty over the future of the cost-sharing subsidies and the individual mandate as one of the reasons behind this year’s hikes in premium.

“If certainty is not brought to the market and policymakers in Washington fail to establish stabilization measures, consumers face the prospect of significantly higher costs,” Ceci Connolly, chief executive officer of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, wrote.

Another way Trump could hamper the ACA is to instruct Price’s department to direct little or no support to open enrollment when people sign up for Obamacare plans near the end of the year.

It could include ignoring website upkeep, not advertising the enrollment period and offering little help for people who have difficulty signing up.

Finally, the Trump administration could simply choose not to enforce the penalties surrounding the individual mandate of Obamacare for uninsured people or broaden exemptions to the law.

The Internal Revenue Service, which enforces the penalty, said in January it would no longer reject filings if taxpayers didn’t indicate whether they had insurance.

Unless the IRS follows up with each silent filing, this could let some uninsured people dodge the penalty.

Americans should be united in at least ending the bailouts for insurance companies.  Had they all stood together and rejected this monster, we wouldn’t be dealing with it now.

Furthermore, the claims that millions of people will be without healthcare if Obamacare is fully repealed is absolute nonsense.  They may be without socialized insurance, but they will still be able to get the healthcare they need.  They just have to pay for it like everyone else.

Let’s see if the bark is bigger than the bite.

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