In the wake of the GOP’s spectacular failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, Trump went on one of his endless Twitter rants, declaring that he would cut off the subsidy payments that help to offset insurer’s cost – which in turn, makes health coverage more affordable for everyone, including members of Congress and their staff members. Over the weekend, he threatened : “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”
His Twitter rants continued today: “If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?”
What is at stake are “cost sharing reduction,” or CSR subsidies to insurance companies. Together with insurance premium tax credits, CSR subsidies lower the out-of-pocket costs for people making up to 200% of the federal poverty level. Trump’s latest hissy fit over not getting his way is making insurance companies very nervous – and it may cause them to abandon the individual insurance exchanges that were set up under the ACA. In the end, this will undermine the entire program by causing dramatic increases in premiums and a corresponding reduction in choices.