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Administration

EARLY REVIEWS ARE IN: Trump’s Executive Order Will Sabotage Health Care

Based on what we know so far, the reviews of Trump’s health care sabotage Executive Order aren’t pretty.

In fact, they’re downright scary.

President Trump’s pledge to sign an Executive Order later this week will sabotage health care, achieving his dream of health care repeal that failed with bipartisan opposition in Congress and overwhelming opposition from the American people.

Trump has been rooting for health care to fail, saying “Let it be a disaster,” and his sabotage will end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, raise health care premiums and deny access to coverage for millions of Americans — and could result in the collapse of the individual insurance market.

But don’t take our word for it.

Look at the early reviews that have exposed the truth…

Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “If the executive order is as expansive as it sounds, it could severely destabilize the individual and small business insurance markets. Association plans exempt from the ACA can cherry pick healthy people and make coverage unaffordable for those with pre-existing conditions. If loosely regulated association plans are allowed, insurers will leave the ACA marketplaces as soon as they can or hike premiums a lot.”

Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “The executive order also reportedly envisions expanding the use of short-term health insurance plans. Short-term insurance plans can offer inexpensive coverage to currently healthy people, but they exclude people with pre-existing conditions. If healthy people can enroll in short-term plans and avoid the individual mandate penalty, the ACA marketplaces could collapse. Anything that creates a parallel insurance market for healthy people will lead to unaffordable coverage for sick people. Middle class people with pre-existing conditions ineligible for ACA subsidies could be especially vulnerable under the executive order. You can bet this executive order will get challenged in court, but it could also create lots of confusion going into open enrollment.”

Cori Uccello, American Academy of Actuaries: “Cori Uccello, senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, said that one aspect to watch in the order is when the changes will take effect. Insurers have already set their prices and made plans for 2018. ‘Anything that applied to 2018 would be incredibly destabilizing,’ she said. ‘It would still be destabilizing in 2019 but people would know ahead of time.’”

Matt Fiedler, Brookings Institute: “‘Associations would siphon many healthier people out of the ACA-compliant market, driving up premiums,’ said Matt Fiedler, a fellow with the Center for Health Policy at Brookings Institute. ‘Higher premiums in the ACA-compliant market would result in big cost increases for many sicker enrollees — since they would not have the option of switching to the association market — and likely for the federal government as well.’”

Joseph Antos, American Enterprise Institute: “Joseph Antos, a health policy scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, agrees. ‘Trying to exempt these new associations from ACA rules that apply to all other plans doesn’t strike me as something that’s going to stand up in federal court,’ Antos says.”

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: “AHPs would fragment and destabilize the small group market, resulting in higher premiums for many small businesses. … AHPs would be exempt from state solvency requirements, patient protections, and oversight exposing consumers to significant harm.”

Commonwealth Fund: “If they do so, the health insurance sold via the AHP could become exempt from consumer protections such as the essential health benefits standard and the prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions. The result would be increased risk for higher premiums and fewer plan options on the individual market, as well as fraud and insolvency.”

Craig Garthwaite, Northwestern University: “‘There’s a general belief that at every turn the federal government is going to create regulations to hurt rather than help the markets,’ said Craig Garthwaite, director of the health care program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, referring to the Trump administration. ‘It unwinds the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance under the ACA,’ Garthwaite said.”

Gary Claxton, Kaiser Family Foundation: “‘If the market’s already fragile right now, this is going to make it much more fragile,’ said Gary Claxton, director of the health-care marketplace project at the Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘All of this would be the start of the end of the individual ACA market.’”

Linda Blumberg, Urban Institute: “‘The risks of trying to do the kinds of things we’re hearing about are really tremendous,’ said Linda Blumberg, senior fellow at the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute.”

Associated Press: “Without those healthy customers, the cost might rise faster for people with medical conditions.”

The Hill: “President Trump’s planned executive order on ObamaCare is worrying supporters of the law and insurers, who fear it could undermine the stability of ObamaCare.”

Washington Post: “If at first you don’t succeed at repealing Obamacare, try, try again — with an executive order. President Trump, desperate for a health-care win that Congress couldn’t hand him, is pursuing a backdoor way of letting more Americans buy insurance plans free of the Obamacare regulations that Republicans have blamed for big premium hikes and costly deductibles.”

Washington Examiner: “Both association health plans and short-term plans are less expensive than Obamacare plans because they offer limited coverage. They don’t guarantee same-cost coverage, or any coverage, for people with pre-existing illnesses and they do not cover a broad range of medical care, from addiction treatment to maternity care.”