Trump Doing Gardner’s Dirty Work For Him

UPDATE: From the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative:

“Today, the Trump administration took a deliberate step to sabotage the insurance market and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This Executive Order will allow association health plans to offer insurance that does not provide essential health benefits such as mental health care and maternity care. Consumers could end up purchasing these plans only to later find that they do not provide basic coverage for health conditions like cancer. The Executive Order will also create consumer confusion as they may be tricked into buying limited-benefit plans that don’t provide real health insurance coverage. This will destabilize the individual market as it opens the door for people to buy substandard coverage while leaving the individual market with an unhealthy risk pool and skyrocketing premiums.”

“Rather than helping hard-working Americans, the administration’s Executive Order will lead to some Coloradans buying junk insurance that leaves them without the care they need while others will be left paying much higher premiums. Insurers have already been struggling with the uncertainty created by senseless repeal efforts and other actions by this administration, and this will only increase uncertainty and instability in the individual market.”

“The Trump Administration is not ‘letting’ Obamacare fail. It is actively sabotaging the health insurance market. Everyday Americans will suffer as premiums spike and plans that provide comprehensive benefits become unaffordable or evaporate altogether. It is up to Congress and all of us to raise our voices against this overt destruction of our health care system.”

—–

Politico reports on today’s executive order from President Donald Trump, which could set in motion a series of events very troubling for health insurance markets–helping keep Trump’s promise to destroy the Affordable Care Act, but with lots of collateral damage:

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order directing an overhaul of major federal health regulations, calling it the first step toward fulfilling the GOP’s promise to repeal Obamacare.

The order is aimed at encouraging the rise of a raft of cheap, loosely regulated health insurance plans that don’t have to comply with certain Obamacare consumer protections and benefit rules. They’d attract younger and healthier people — leaving older and sicker ones in the Obamacare markets facing higher and higher costs…

It’s not yet clear how far the administration will go, or how quickly it can implement the president’s order. But if successful, the new rules could upend the way businesses and individuals buy coverage — lowering premiums for the healthiest Americans at the expense of key consumer protections and potentially tipping the Obamacare markets into a tailspin.

“Within a year, this would kill the market,” said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation who previously worked at former President Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Department. [Pols emphasis]

Like a game of Jenga, pulling out individual components of the interlocking framework of risk sharing set up by the Affordable Care Act could cause the whole system to come crashing down–something that is already a threat largely due to the refusal by Republicans in Washington to take any action to stabilize insurance markets, and years of inaction to address routine implementation issues that have cropped up since the ACA was passed in 2010. What this means politically is that Republicans have by any reasonable measure lost the ability to blame the 2010 law and Democrats who passed it for problems occurring today. After so many failed opportunities to replace or just fix easily-addressed problems with the ACA, it’s Republicans who own it now–although you could argue that they owned as soon as they started stripping funding from the law during high-stakes fiscal negotiations with the Obama administration.

So in the event that Trump’s order today to promote cheap health plans that don’t meet the ACA’s coverage standards wreaks havoc on Colorado’s insurance markets, driving up the cost of care for sick people and returning others to the “bad old days” of chintzy health plans that proved useless when actually needed, Coloradans can thank Cory Gardner. After all, it’s exactly what Gardner has repeatedly claimed he wanted. Blaming Obama when this plan comes apart as the experts predict won’t be easy!

Then again, none of this is intended to make health care better. That will be obvious soon enough.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    The best thing that can happen for health care in America is to let the Jenga blocks FALL. That's what Trump is doing. The market will supply the coverage that is demanded.

    • unnamed says:

      Yeah nutlid.  Those big jenga blocks falling on the poor.  Must give you some small wood.   You love seeing regular people lose their healthcare.

      You'll be fine because Grammy Marble will take care of you.  Your only preexisting condition is a red ass from her spanking you.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      The Soda Fountain of Justice Gravity ??? . . . 

      We’re tracking the ways President Trump is undermining Obamacare. Here are 11.

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/12/us/trump-undermine-obamacare.html

      • ModeratusModeratus says:

        Why would Trump want to save something that he promised to repeal? I'M REALLY SORRY BUT DEMOCRATS DIDN'T WIN.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated . . . “

          Ummm . . . I guess because maybe promising to be an ignoramus is a promise that needn’t be kept?

        • DavieDavie says:

          Yep, Moldy, American voters are just begging Trump and the GOP to not only strip away their affordable healthcare, but give all our money to those deserving billionaires and their trust fund babies too! 

          Have you sent your check and thank you note to the Kochs this month?  Obviously, they know much better than their pissant drones like you how to spend the money they so rightfully deserve!

        • unnamed says:

          Okay nutlid.  If Obamacare is so bad, why didn't congress repeal it.

           

          Also, I'm waiting for your insightful diary on Donald Trump and his predatory behavior.  You know, like you posted that article from sexual harassment factory Faux Noise on Harvey Weinstein.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      If it's so damn awful, why hasn't the Congress repealed it? Shouldn't we respect their decision to keep it? 

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      If only nutlid could read I’d suggest he peruse this book…

      “God thundered again and again through the prophets that worship in the context of mistreatment of the poor and disadvantaged is an outrage.”
      ~Ronald J. Sider, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    I said it yesterday in regards to Gardner’s NRSC gig accomplishments, but it bears repeating . . . 

    Cory does smiling.  Cory does nodding. Cory does floating about until caught by whatever prevailing breeze . . . 

    . . . but, Cory don’t do work.  Ever.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Vichy Republicans — apt description of Con Man Cory and his cohorts (h/t Mike Littwin and the Colorado Independent):

    Frank Rich says in New York magazine that the Vichy Republicans who nod and remain silent after Bob Corker’s invocation of World War III don’t seem to understand that the proposed tax cuts may not survive a nuclear Armageddon.

    Further interesting reading in the same column:

    After pushing Roy Moore to victory in Alabama’s GOP Senate runoff last month, Steve Bannon is reportedly urging Erik Prince, of Blackwater fame, to be part of a wave of alt-right primary challengers against Establishment Republicans in 2018. Does Prince stand a chance of becoming a senator, or is the announcement part of some Bannon scare tactic with more immediate goals?
    I have no idea whether Prince can be elected senator in Wyoming. He presided over Blackwater when it killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007; he is the brother of arguably the most widely loathed Trump cabinet member, Betsy DeVos; and he admitted to having an affair with his children’s former nanny while his wife was dying of cancer. In the Trump-era GOP, of course, these may well be sterling credentials for winning a Republican primary.

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Now that Trump late last night also announced an end to the insurance market subsidies, I wonder if this will be the final wake up call to Red State Trumpians who depend on the ACA for their health insurance that maybe they got snookered by the GOP?

    Trump Is Telling Obamacare Insurers He Doesn’t Support the Market

    President Trump’s decision to stop paying subsidies to insurance companies that cover many low-income Americans is his most overt action so far to undermine the Obamacare markets, which reopen for sign-ups on Nov. 1.

  5. This morning it is confirmed that Trump will not be paying any more CSRs to the insurance companies, defaulting the US government on its contractual obligations to insurers for an estimated $1.7 billion. (Stiffing contractors is something Trump is quite comfortable with, buthe may not have caught up on the 14th Amendment requirement that, as President, he is legally required to ensure the full payment of all US obligations…)

    16 State AGs and likely a number of insurers are lined up to sue for fulfillment of CSR payments.

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