Donald Trump Is Pulling Obamacare Subsidies. What Does It Mean? (Spoiler Alert: We're F**ked)
Here’s what it means: Chaos in the health insurance industry. Rising premiums. Poor people less likely to be able to afford insurance. Millions of Americans, including a whole lot of pissed off poor, white Trump voters, will lose coverage, and, according to some estimates, $2.3 billion more in costs to the government.
Trump and the Republicans are going to argue — and already are arguing — that the payments were unconstitutional because the payments weren’t authorized by Congress. This is bullshit. Don’t for a second buy into it, because Constitutional or not, Trump has the power to continue those payments for as long as he wants.
He doesn’t want to. He’s acting out of spite. He’s acting like a child because he didn’t get the new toy he wanted, so instead of fixing the other guy’s toy, he’s decided to destroy it so that no one can have a toy.
So what’s going to happen? Trump says that he’s breaking Obamacare in order to force Democrats to come to the table and negotiate. Will it work?
Democrats are really bad at letting poor and disadvantaged people suffer for the sake of making a political point. Republicans are really good at making poor and disadvantaged people suffer for the sake of a political point.
The hope, however, is that Democrats and Republicans can get together and simply agree to authorize the subsidy payments and take that particular weapon away from Trump. Unfortunately, Republicans are obstinate and a lot of them would rather millions of people do without health insurance than to fix Obamacare. That’s the case even though the cost of Obamacare to the government without subsidies is even more.
The question is where is the breaking point for Democrats? I think a compromise is inevitable, because I just don’t see Democrats hanging millions of poor people out to dry. Hopefully, by trashing the President over this decision and further driving down his popularity (hopefully with his base, too), they can at least gain some leverage in the upcoming negotiations. None of these changes are likely to be immediate, so the Dems should at least let Trump and the Republicans sit with this for as long as possible.
It is important to note this, for all of our readers who get the insurance through their employers: Your rates will go up, too. Trump is fucking us all. Yay!
Important: if Trump stops paying insurers, rates for EVERYBODY go up - not just for people on ACA exchange plans. Get ready, America!!— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 13, 2017