Will President Trump Rob Peter?

August 16, 2017

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Health plans are fear-mongering. They’re threatening to hike insurance premiums unless President Trump pays subsidies that even the Democrats refused to fund. Now the Congressional Budget Office piles on, agreeing that premiums will increase if Trump refuses to pay the ACA cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies to health plans.
Here’s the bottom line: Health plans want Trump to rob Peter to pay Paul. Health plans promise lower premiums if Trump agrees to redistribute wages through higher taxes.
This is attempted extortion.
The health plans no doubt knew the 2010 ACA did not fund these subsidies so they should NEVER have agreed to participate in the Obamacare exchanges in 2013. Perhaps Obama promised them he’d go around Congress, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Obama made CSR payments to health plans to lower the cost of deductibles and co-pays for people up to 250% of federal poverty guidelines (average payments of $12 - $120/person/mo) – even though Congress never authorized it. That’s why the U.S. House sued the Obama administration.
The folks getting lower premiums through CSR subsidies are also eligible for premium subsidies, with both subsidies being paid directly to the health plans. Insurers want to keep this stream of taxpayer cash flowing.
In 2016, unlawful CSR payments to health plans were made on behalf of around 9.6 million people. The payments total $7 billion to $10 billion a year. We should encourage health plans to exit Obamacare and let the exchanges collapse. States may quickly remember Tenth Amendment rights, reclaim their authority over health policy and restore the affordable catastrophic coverage prohibited by the ACA. Trump can choose to:
  • Let health plans charge Americans the full cost of Obamacare to build the public opposition necessary for full repeal, or
  • Maintain the pro-Obamacare stance of lower-income Americans by protecting them with subsidy dollars taken from taxpayers by force.
To advance repeal, his choice is easy. The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives won its lawsuit against Obama’s CSR payments but subsidies were allowed to continue pending appeal. The Trump administration has asked twice for a delay (Feb and May) in deciding whether to drop the appeal. The next decision on the case and the subsidies comes this month.
Ask President Trump to do three things:
1.     Drop the administration’s appeal of the U.S. House CSR lawsuit
2.     Stop the unlawful CSR subsidies to health plans – End the Obamacare bailouts
3.     End the taxpayer-funded “special contribution” Congress and their staffers get to cover the cost of their ACA premiums (about $12,000/year).
Contact him here or here. Everyone, including Congress, should feel the full force and unaffordable effect of the ACA. That’s how we’ll get it repealed!
Uncompromisingly for freedom,
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder

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