Home Daily Blitz Trump’s Health Care Antics Carry Consequences For Consumers

Trump’s Health Care Antics Carry Consequences For Consumers

A pedestrian walks past the corporate headquarters of health insurer Anthem, formerly known as Wellpoint, on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 in Indianapolis. The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer sells insurance in several states under the Anthem brand, which was the company's corporate name before it bought WellPoint Health Networks a decade ago. It sells no plans under the WellPoint name. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The following is an excerpt from Steve Benen | August 8, 2017 | msnbc.com |

The pattern is familiar: the public learns of discouraging news about the health care system; the right seizes on the news as evidence against the Affordable Care Act; and a closer look at the news shows the developments are less about “Obamacare” and more about the damage Donald Trump is doing to the markets.

This happened again yesterday, when Anthem, a major private insurer, announced that it’s withdrawing from Nevada’s exchanges. For the right, including the president himself, this was fresh proof that the ACA isn’t working, but those who take a closer look at the coverage know there’s more to the story. Take this Reuters report, for example:

Anthem blamed the moves in part on uncertainty over whether the Trump administration would maintain subsidies that keep costs down.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week threatened to cut off subsidy payments that make the plans affordable for lower-income Americans and help insurers to keep premiums down, after efforts to repeal the law signed by his predecessor, President Barack Obama, failed in Congress.

The Nevada Independent published a similar report, which stressed the same point.

The [Nevada] exchange’s executive director Heather Korbulic said that uncertainty over whether cost-sharing reduction payments from the federal government to insurance carriers will continue and whether any changes to the individual mandate have created “constant ambiguity” for insurers. President Donald Trump has been deciding whether to continue the payments, which help lower deductibles and copays for roughly 7 million low income individuals who buy insurance on the exchange, on a month-by-month basis, referring to them as a “bailout” for insurance companies.

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