Stymied by lack of action by Congress, President Trump has taken two important and beneficial actions on health care. Critics say he is undermining health care for millions of Americans. But in reality, he is putting pressure on Congress to change ObamaCare before it collapses and does serious damage to our health care system.
President Trump first issued an executive Thursday that increases competition among health care insurers and makes it much easier for people to join associations and escape the prohibitively expensive individual insurance market. This will leave many consumers better off and put pressure on Congress to finally change ObamaCare to a more patient-centered, price-centered marketplace.
Next, the president announced he is ending what a federal court has ruled are unconstitutional subsidies being paid to Big Insurance to lower the deductibles and co-pays of policies for 6 million low-income Americans who buy coverage on ObamaCare exchanges.
Democrats are reacting as if President Trump is throwing people out of wheelchairs and hospital beds. Let’s take a deep breath and report what’s really happening.
The president has not ended the premium-support subsidies that flow to people who buy health insurance under ObamaCare. Those subsidies were properly appropriated by Congress when it created ObamaCare.
Instead, President Trump is ending a different type of subsidy that flows to insurance companies. What’s critically important to understand is that Congress has never provided an annual appropriation for these subsidies – either when Democrats or Republicans ran the ObamaCare program.