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Protect Our Care Announces National Campaign to Stand Up to Trump Sabotage of Health Care

New campaign calls on members of Congress to stand up to Trump’s attempts to sabotage our health care.

Newly-released report shows 26 of 35 states that have released rate information attribute rate increases to uncertainty created by the Trump administration.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 17, 2017 — Protect Our Care today announced a national campaign to stop President Trump and Congressional Republicans from sabotaging our health care. After failing to pass a series of disastrous health care repeal bills this year, President Trump is determined to achieve repeal by taking administrative action to undermine the current law and open enrollment. Trump’s actions will raise health care premiums, deny access to health care for millions of Americans and significantly threaten the collapse of the individual insurance market. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to stand up to sabotage and protect health care for millions of Americans.

In his latest act of sabotage, President Trump cancelled cost-sharing reduction (CSRs) funds which keep out-of-pocket costs low for millions of Americans. The decision has thrown the individual insurance market into further chaos and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will result in coverage losses and premiums soaring by 20 percent next year, and will spike the national debt by nearly $200 billion by 2026.

The American people have overwhelmingly rejected health care repeal and made it clear they want Congress and the Trump Administration to work across party lines to keep what works and fix what doesn’t in the Affordable Care Act. Now is the time for Republicans to stand up to Trump’s sabotage and work to improve health care for millions of Americans. If not, they will own all the consequences of higher premiums and worse coverage.

“President Trump has made it clear he will do everything he can to sabotage our health care. The President’s repeated and blatant acts of sabotage are deliberately undermining the law, and will destroy the health and financial security of millions of people,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “It is high time Republicans in Congress stand up to this sabotage and they should start by immediately restoring funding for CSRs and open enrollment. We are launching this campaign and taking our message all across the country because sabotaging our health care out of spite is wrong and must be stopped.”

As part of the campaign, Protect Our Care unveiled a new website, StandUpToSabotage.com; released a newly-updated report that shows that the vast majority of states attribute health insurance rate increases to the Trump Administration’s sabotage; and announced a pledge that people can use with Members of Congress to drive the point home that they must take action in Congress to stand up to sabotage. So far this week, the campaign has 17 events scheduled in eight states across the country. A full calendar of events can be found below.

Events in States

So far this week, there are 17 events scheduled in eight states.


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President Trump Lies Six Times In Two Minutes

This afternoon during a brief statement before the start of his cabinet meeting, President Trump “spoke” about health care. In just two minutes, he lied no less than six times. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself…

PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMS VOTERS WILL BLAME DEMOCRATS FOR THEIR QUALMS WITH THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

PRESIDENT TRUMP, IF IT WASN’T CLEAR BEFORE, IT IS NOW: YOU AND REPUBLICANS OWN THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA): “President Trump Is The President. He Is A Republican. And We Control The Congress. We Own The System Now. So We Are Going To Have To Figure Out A Way To Stabilize This Situation.” “‘I am fearful now that the President made this announcement that will destabilize the insurance markets, it will raise premiums for a lot of folks,’ Dent said Friday morning on CNN, adding that it could also cause some Americans to lose their health insurance and prompt insurers to leave the Obamacare marketplace. Dent argued that the Republican Party ‘will own this,” and said that the administration’s move will force Congress to act quickly to pass legislation in order to make cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. ‘President Trump is the President. He is a Republican. And we control the Congress. We own the system now. So we are going to have to figure out a way to stabilize this situation,’ Dent told CNN. “Barack Obama is no longer in the equation. So this is on us. And so I believe his action will force us to enter into some kind of bipartisan agreement on the cost-sharing reduction payments.” [TPM, 10/13/17]

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY): “If We Stay Where We Are And Do Nothing, I Think This Is Going To Be A Pox On All Of Our Houses.” “Representative Tom Reed, Republican of New York and co-chairman of a bipartisan group of lawmakers called the Problem Solvers Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision ‘increased the stakes’ for Congress. More than two months ago, Mr. Reed’s group offered a series of proposals to shore up insurance markets, including funding the subsidies. ‘It’s only going to get worse as this marketplace continues to destabilize,’ Mr. Reed said. ‘If we stay where we are and do nothing, I think this is going to be a pox on all of our houses.’” [New York Times, 10/13/17]

“The Pottery Barn Rule Comes To Mind: You Break It, You Own It.” “This is not ‘letting’ Obamacare fail. Many nonpartisan experts believe that these active measures are likely to undermine the pillars of the 2010 law and hasten the collapse of the marketplaces. The Pottery Barn rule comes to mind: You break it, you own it. Yes, the plate you just shattered had some cracks in it. But if you dropped it on the ground, the store is going to blame you.” [Washington Post, 10/13/17]

“Trump’s Not Going To Be Able To Avoid Blame For Kneecapping Obamacare.” [Washington Post, 10/13/17]

“After Months Of Pinning The Blame For Obamacare’s Shortcomings On Democrats And Watching His Own Party Fail To Act, President Donald Trump Just Took Ownership Of A Struggle That’s Consumed Republicans For Seven Years.” “After months of pinning the blame for Obamacare’s shortcomings on Democrats and watching his own party fail to act, President Donald Trump just took ownership of a struggle that’s consumed Republicans for seven years. Trump’s decision late Thursday to end government subsidies to insurers to help lower-income Americans afford to use their coverage under the Affordable Care Act was the most drastic step he’s taken to undermine his predecessor’s signature achievement. It also lobbed a live bomb into the laps of Republicans lawmakers 13 months before congressional elections after he publicly berated the party’s Senate leadership for being unable to keep a longstanding promise to repeal the law.” [Bloomberg, 10/13/17]

PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMED HIS DECISION TO CUT OFF CSR PAYMENTS IS THE REASON REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ARE WORKING TOGETHER

HOWEVER, JUST LAST MONTH, THE WHITE HOUSE CALLED OFF A BIPARTISAN NEGOTIATION BETWEEN SENATE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS

“House Speaker Paul Ryan And The White House Have Informed Senate Republican Leaders That They Oppose A Bipartisan Plan To Stabilize Obamacare Being Written In The Senate.” “House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have informed Senate Republican leaders that they oppose a bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare being written in the Senate, according to Trump administration and congressional sources, in a clear bid to boost the Senate’s prospects of repealing the health law.” [Politico, 9/19/17]

“President Donald Trump Will Oppose Any Congressional Attempts To Reinstate Funding For Obamacare Subsidies.” [Politico, 10/13/17]

PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMS HE WANTS TO HELP MORE PEOPLE

HIS DECISION WILL RESULT IN ONE MILLION PEOPLE LOSING COVERAGE NEXT YEAR AND PREMIUMS RISING — ALL WHILE INCREASING THE FEDERAL DEFICIT

Congressional Budget Office: One Million People Will Lose Coverage In 2018 If CSR Payments Are Halted. [CBO, 8/15/17]

Congressional Budget Office: Average Premiums Would Rise By 20 Percent Next Year, And Would Remain 25 Percent Higher Than They Would Be If CSRs Were Paid In 2020 And Beyond. “Under this policy, average premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plan offered through the marketplaces for single policyholders would be about 20 percent higher in 2018 than the premiums projected in CBO’s March 2016 baseline, mainly because gross premiums alone, rather than premiums in combination with CSR payments, would have to cover the insurer’s share of enrollees’ health care costs. In 2020 and subsequent years, by CBO and JCT’s estimates, the premiums for such benchmark plans would be about 25 percent higher than under the baseline.” [CBO, 8/15/17]

Congressional Budget Office: Failure To Make CSR Payments Will Increase The Federal Deficit By Nearly $200 Billion. “CBO and JCT estimate that, on net, adopting this policy would increase the federal deficit by a total of $194 billion over the 2017–2026 period.” [CBO, 8/15/17]

PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMS VOTERS WILL BLAME DEMOCRATS FOR RISING PREMIUMS

HOWEVER, VOTERS KNOW THAT WHILE PRESIDENT TRUMP AND REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO REPEAL THE HEALTH CARE LAW, THEY HAVE BEEN DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO SABOTAGE THE MARKETPLACE

  • President Trump defunded the law’s mandatory cost-sharing-reduction payments, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office said would increase rates by 20% in 2018 and 25% in 2020.
  • Cut 90% of the resources to support open enrollment.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order on his first day in office demanding that agencies dismantle as much of the law as they can.
  • President Trump Signed an Executive Order to create garbage insurance plans which will raise premiums, slash coverage and end protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Pursued partisan repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which has created uncertainty in the market and led to higher premiums.

Now people are facing the consequences.

PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMS COST-SHARING REDUCTION (CSR) FUNDS CONTRIBUTE TO INSURANCE COMPANY PROFITS

ACTUALLY, CSR PAYMENTS ARE USED TO REIMBURSE ISSUERS WHO ASSIST CERTAIN MARKETPLACE ENROLLEES WITH THEIR OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The ACA Requires Insurers To Offer Plans With Reduced Patient Cost-Sharing…To Compensate For The Added Cost To Insurers Of The Reduced Cost-Sharing, The Federal Government Makes Payments Directly To Insurance Companies.” “The ACA requires insurers to offer plans with reduced patient cost-sharing (e.g., deductibles and copays) to marketplace enrollees with incomes 100–250% of the poverty level. The reduced cost-sharing is only available in silver-level plans, and the premiums are the same as standard silver plans. To compensate for the added cost to insurers of the reduced cost-sharing, the federal government makes payments directly to insurance companies…If the CSR payments end…insurers would face significant revenue shortfalls this year and next.” [KFF, 4/25/17]

PRESIDENT TRUMP CLAIMS VOTERS SUPPORT REPUBLICAN PLANS TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE

HOWEVER, POLLING OVERWHELMINGLY SHOWS THAT PEOPLE WANT DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS TO COME TOGETHER AND OFFER COMMON SENSE FIXES, NOT A PARTISAN HEALTH CARE REPEAL BILL

“A Whopping 71 Percent Of Americans Said They’d Rather See Trump Doing Everything He Possibly Could To Make Health Insurance Exchanges That Are Currently In Place Under Obamacare Work.” “A new poll conducted by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released on Friday found 66 percent of Americans thought it was more important for Trump and Congress to work on legislation that would stabilize the current marketplaces opposed to continuing efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Although more Democrats (85 percent) wanted Trump to work on stabilizing Obamacare than Republicans (51 percent), a whopping 71 percent of Americans said they’d rather see Trump doing everything he possibly could to make health insurance exchanges that are currently in place under Obamacare work. Only 21 percent of adults agreed that Trump should let the law fail in an attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.” [Newsweek, 10/14/17]

“Every Single Poll…Found Opposition Outweighing Support By More Than 20 Percentage Points.” “On average, 55 percent of Americans opposed the GOP proposals to replace Obamacare while 22 percent supported them, according to an average of health-care polls tracked by PollingReport, which we compiled starting in March. Negative reactions to Republican repeal efforts have been strikingly consistent. Polls have asked about GOP proposals using a wide range of wordings, but every single poll tracked by the PollingReport found opposition outweighing support by more than 20 percentage points. Web-based polls not tracked by PollingReport found narrower margins, though support has consistently trailed opposition.” [Washington Post, 7/28/17]

“61 Percent Of Respondents Want Obamacare Fixed Instead Of Repealed And Replaced.” “A majority of Americans wants lawmakers to keep and fix ObamaCare rather than replace it with a Republican alternative, according to a new poll. The ABC/Washington Post poll found that 61 percent of respondents want ObamaCare fixed instead of repealed and replaced. Seventy-nine percent said President Trump should make ObamaCare work instead of letting it fail, as he has previously threatened.” [The Hill, 4/25/17]

“The Republican Health Care Effort Is The Most Unpopular Legislation In Three Decades.” “The Republican health care effort is the most unpopular legislation in three decades — less popular than the Affordable Care Act when it was passed, the widely hated Troubled Asset Relief Program bank bailout bill in 2008, and even President Bill Clinton’s failed health reform effort in the 1990s. That’s the verdict from MIT’s Chris Warshaw, who compiled polling data from the Roper Center on major legislation Congress has passed since 1990.” [Axios, 7/7/17]

Trump’s Sabotage of Health Care in the Headlines: You Own This, Donald

In the days following President Trump’s decision to cut off the Affordable Care Act’s funding for reducing out of pocket costs for millions of Americans, paving the way for massive premium increases and potentially sowing chaos in the country’s health care marketplace, the headlines have not been kind. How is his decision being portrayed in the press? Not well, not well at all…

USA Today: Trump sells out your health insurance

New York Times: Trump’s Obamacare Moves Will Deepen Health Inequality

US News & World Report: Trump Has Shattered Health Security

Los Angeles Times: Trumpcare sabotage #1: Trump reneges on Obamacare payments, portending turmoil for consumers and taxpayers

Detroit Free Press: Bleeding the base: Why is Trump targeting his voters’ health care?

The Economist: Donald Trump’s health-care orders will hurt middle-class, self-employed Americans

Associated Press: Pro-Trump states most affected by his health care decision

Los Angeles Times: Trump boasts of ending healthcare subsidies and sending insurance stocks plunging; others not so pleased

Vox: Only 1 in 3 voters approve of Trump’s executive order undermining Obamacare

USA Today: Trump’s move to end insurance subsidies jolts Washington

Mass Live: Gov. Charlie Baker: Trump administration’s move to end ACA cost-sharing reduction payments is ‘the wrong decision’

The Hill: Trump hands Republicans a new ObamaCare problem

Huffington Post: Trump’s Obamacare Sabotage Is Doing Real Damage To American Health Care

MSNBC: Even Republicans aren’t happy with Trump’s health care gambit

Bustle: Why Trump’s Obamacare Subsidies Freeze Will Disproportionately Impact Women

NPR: Trump’s Executive Actions May Mean More Headaches For Struggling Congress

Talking Points Memo: How Trump’s Obamacare Sabotage Sets Him Up For His Own Political Misery

Boston Globe: Trump health care attacks worry GOP

The Tennessean: President Trump’s decision to end ACA subsidy creates fresh uncertainty

Chicago Tribune: Trump’s plan to end Obamacare subsidies stirs uncertainty in Illinois

Associated Press: Susan Collins: Trump should back effort to resume health subsidy

Bangor Daily News: Susan Collins says Trump’s move to end Obamacare subsidies hurts ‘vulnerable people’

NBC News: Gov. Kasich Slams President Trump’s Move on Health Care Subsidies

The Hill: GOP rep breaks with Trump: Cutting health-care subsidies does ‘opposite’ of what he promised

President Trump’s Deliberate Sabotage of Our Health Care Means He and Republicans in Congress Own…

To: Interested Parties

From: Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care Campaign Director

Date: October 13, 2017

Re: President Trump’s Deliberate Sabotage of Our Health Care Means He and Republicans in Congress Own The Mess They Created

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

This week President Trump and his administration took deliberate actions to sabotage our health care by undermining the insurance markets. On Thursday, President Trump signed an Executive Order that would roll back key protections and result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and expose millions of Americans again to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

Then later that night, his administration announced it would default on payments that help lower people’s out-of-pocket costs known as cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said failure to make these payments would result in higher premiums of 20 to 25 percent, make insurers leave the marketplace, and add nearly $200 billion to the national debt.

Why is he doing this? The answer is clear: out of spite and political games. He failed repeatedly to pass a so-called “repeal and replace” bill through Congress, so now he is purposely sabotaging the markets. This is repeal by another means, pure and simple. As he recently stated at the Values Voters Summit, “It’s step by step by step…And one by one, it’s going to come down.”

President Trump famously said “the best thing we can do…is let Obamacare explode” and “let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the Democrats.” But as his actions this week lay bare, he is not letting Obamacare fail, he is making Obamacare fail, and more people are realizing he and Republicans now own the mess they’ve created.

Take a look at some of the headlines this week after the administration announced it would no longer pay cost-sharing reductions:

  • Washington Post: Throwing a bomb into the insurance markets, Trump now owns the broken health-care system
  • Washington Post: Trump’s not going to be able to avoid blame for kneecapping Obamacare
  • Vox: Trump’s acting like Obamacare is just politics. It’s people’s lives.
  • NPR: Trump Administration To End Obamacare Subsidies For The Poor
  • Forbes: Trump’s End To Obamacare Subsidies Hurts Patients, Not Insurers
  • Bloomberg: Trump Cuts Off Health-Insurer Subsidy, Threatening Obamacare Chaos

Here Are All the Ways the Trump Administration Is Sabotaging Health Care

The Trump administration’s actions this week to sabotage our health care are not the first. Since taking office earlier this year, President Trump, his administration and allies in Congress, have been doing anything and everything they can to undermine our health care. Their intended goals are to make fewer people sign up for coverage either by making coverage so expensive people drop out, or by not giving consumers the tools they need to get covered, and to force insurers out of the marketplace to force it to collapse.

Here is what they have done so far:

  • On his first day in office, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the administration to find any ways they could to unravel the Affordable Care Act.
  • For the final days of open enrollment in January 2017, the Trump Administration cut 75% of television advertising and all digital advertising that helped people find out about their health care options- resulting in an estimated 500,000 fewer people getting coverage.
  • The Trump administration cut the number of days people could sign up for coverage in half for future enrollment periods, from 90 days to 45 days.
  • The Trump administration cut the outreach ad budget by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million. Advertising is a critical way for people to know when and how they can get covered.
  • The administration plans to be shutting Healthcare.gov down for part of the day on most Sundays.
  • The administration ordered the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in open enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell said, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”
  • The administration has cut in-person assistance and changed the final deadline to sign up.
  • The Trump administration essentially rolled back a rule that would allow employers to deny millions of women free access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Trump administration for months has threatened to stop funding CSRs, only making the payments on a month-to-month basis. Yesterday, they announced they would not be making the October payment.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order that would roll back key protections and result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and expose millions of Americans again to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

We Pay the Price for Trump’s Sabotage

This may be a political game for President Trump because he wants to get rid of anything President Obama did, but all of us will pay for his spite. As the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said, “Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt.

We are already seeing this in action. Protect Our Care issued a report last week showing that in at least 20 states, insurers had raised their premiums more than they would have because of President Trump’s threat to withhold CSR payments. Who knows how they will react now that he actually did? Some insurers could try to readjust their rates higher or leave the marketplace altogether.

Experts agree, failing to make these payments will mean higher premiums and will explode the national debt.

Studies

  • Congressional Budget Office: Congressional Budget Office says that failure to make these payments would mean people’s health insurance premiums will go up 20 to 25 percent and add nearly $200 billion to the debt over the next decade.
  • Center for American Progress: “The Center for American Progress estimates that uncertainty around CSRs and mandate enforcement will raise 2018 premiums for benchmark coverage an extra $1,061 annually for a 40-year-old and $2,491 annually for a 64-year-old.”
  • Kaiser Family Foundation: “Benchmark premiums would increase by 19 percent on average if cost-sharing subsidies were unpaid.”
  • Urban Institute: “We find that premiums for silver marketplace plans would increase $1,040 per person on average.”
  • Urban Institute: “A precipitous drop in insurer participation is even more likely if the cost-sharing assistance is discontinued.”
  • Commonwealth Fund: “Eliminating cost-sharing reductions could destabilize insurance markets.”
  • Kurt Giesa, Practice Leader, Oliver Wyman Actuarial Consulting: “Our modeling shows that this uncertainty, if it remains, could lead payers to submit rate increases between 28 and 40 percent, and more than two-thirds of those increases will be related to the uncertainty around CSR payments and individual mandate.”

State Insurance Commissioners and Agencies

Health Care Industry

Americans Will Rightly Hold Republicans Accountable for Sabotage

President Trump and Republicans in Congress might hope that people will blame President Obama and Democrats for rising premiums and limited choices on the marketplace, but that is not the case. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote, “Republicans run the government and that means they are responsible for what happens in health care.”

An April 2017 Kaiser Health tracking poll found that 64 percent of Americans, including ⅔ of independents and a majority of Republicans, said they would blame Republicans and President Trump for any future problems with health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) going forward. The same poll found that 74 percent want Trump and his Administration to do what they can to make the current law work — that includes 8 in 10 independents and over half of Republicans.

Moreover, a recent poll by Hart Research Associates found that “nearly two-thirds (64%) of voters believe it is true that Donald Trump is ‘undermining the Affordable Care Act’ and three-in-five (61%) voters believe that he is actively ‘trying to make the Affordable Care Act fail.’ Additionally, 64% say that Trump is ‘playing politics with people’s healthcare,’ including one-in-four (24%) of his own voters. Along similar lines, a 57% majority believe that the president is ‘sacrificing people’s health care in order to oppose Barack Obama.’”

Republicans Can Stand Up to Trump’s Sabotage — Will They?

President Trump doesn’t get to have the final word on this — the courts, Congress and the American people will have the opportunity to be heard as well. For starters, many Republicans in Congress are on the record supporting these cost-sharing reduction payments. Will they stand up to the Trump administration to keep premiums from skyrocketing and adding $200 billion to our debt? Neither Congress nor the American people stood by for that failed legislative effort and there is no reason to stand by now and allow a president to sabotage the American health care system out of spite and pure politics.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur…No action is not an alternative. We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.”
  • Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt.”
  • Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “I think they’re going to have to be paid.”
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “I hope the President will continue to make those payments.”
  • Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson (R-WI): The Senate should “bite the bullet and stabilize those markets.’”
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “Families would be hurt.”
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “So, it really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off. They’re paid to the insurance companies, but the people that they benefit are people who make between 100 percent and 250 percent of the poverty rate. So, we’re talking about low-income Americans who would be devastated if those payments were cut off, though the threat to cut off those payments has contributed to the instability in the insurance market.”
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “Susan Collins says she’s ‘very concerned’ with Trump’s new ACA EO and decision to do away with CSRs.”
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “As I’ve been saying, the Senate should take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA and stabilize the individual markets.”
  • House Deputy Majority Whip Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): [On making CSR payments] “My personal opinion is yes.”
  • House Ways And Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX): “We should act within our constitutional authority now to temporarily and legally fund cost-sharing reduction payments as we move away from Obamacare.”
  • House Energy And Commerce Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-WA): “I will do everything I can to make sure the cost-sharing reduction payments get made, especially this year where they were promised by the federal government under the contracts…That’s an obligation not only to insurers but also to the people who took on those plans. We cannot leave them high and dry.”
  • Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN): “If we pull the subsidies … I think there would be nobody with a health insurance plan next year.”
  • Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND): “As long as it’s [the subsidies] are part of the law of the land, it’s our job to appropriate the money.”
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): “Cutting Health Care Subsidies Will Mean More Uninsured In My District. @POTUS Promised More Access, Affordable Coverage. This Does Opposite.”
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL): “Cost Sharing Reductions Are Critical To Low Income Americans. Congress Should Guarantee Their Funding Through The Appropriations Process.”
  • Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): “Now Congress must act and pass the Problem Solvers Caucus health care plan that I have endorsed. It funds the cost-sharing reduction program through the congressional appropriations process and implements free-market policies to improve our health care system and lower medical and insurance costs for all.”
  • Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY): “If Congress doesn’t get it done the people who suffer are the people back home.”

Outrageous: Trump Sabotaging People’s Health Care for Leverage?!

“This is outrageous. We know Trump is hell bent on sabotaging the health care of the American people out of his hatred for President Obama and to curry favor with the most extreme elements of his political base, but now he’s also doing it as leverage to get a border wall? Americans are already seeing higher premiums as a result of Trump’s sabotage, the markets are being de-stabilized and as many as a million people will lose coverage next year next year because of his senseless, reckless, cold-hearted decision to end cost sharing reduction payments. It has always been a lie that the Affordable Care Act was in trouble and needed to be scrapped, and any problems with the law now lay squarely at the feet of Trump and Republicans for their blatant sabotage and focus on partisan repeal. If Republicans in Congress want to avoid the political fallout from Trump’s decision they can do one thing right now: pass legislation to restore CSR’s and dare Trump to veto it. Otherwise, when the fallout comes it will be coming their way, not just Trump’s.” -Brad Woodhouse, Campaign Director, Protect Our Care

“The president has said pretty clearly that he’s willing to talk to just about anybody about repealing and replacing [Obamacare],” Mulvaney continued. “But if the straight-up question is: Is the president interested in continuing what he sees as corporate welfare and bailouts for the insurance companies? No.”

The administration, however, opened the door to negotiations on the now-canceled payments. After speaking to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Saturday, Trump said a temporary deal could be struck on shoring up the insurance markets. Mulvaney suggested the insurance payments could be a bargaining chip in a broader negotiation with Congress to either repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law — or fund Trump’s long-stalled border wall with Mexico.

Trump opposes bipartisan Obamacare rescue plan

Politico // Burgess Everett, Rachael Bade and Josh Dawsey

October 13, 2017

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/13/trump-opposes-bipartisan-obamacare-rescue-plan-243752

President Donald Trump will oppose any congressional attempts to reinstate funding for Obamacare subsidies — unless he gets something in return, his budget director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview Friday morning.

The comments by the Office of Management and Budget chief delivered a severe blow to efforts by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to strike a bipartisan deal on funding the subsidies. Trump canceled those payments to insurance companies on Thursday night, raising hopes among some Democrats and centrist Republicans that the Trump administration could accept a bill that would revive the subsides while offering states more flexibility to opt out of Obamacare.

But Mulvaney panned those efforts, calling the so-called cost-sharing reduction payments “corporate welfare and bailouts for the insurance companies.”

“Instead of saying what we might support, I’d say I’m pretty sure what we won’t support, which is just a clean Murray-Alexander bill,” Mulvaney said, sitting in his spacious Eisenhower Executive Office Building office Friday morning.

“The president has said pretty clearly that he’s willing to talk to just about anybody about repealing and replacing [Obamacare],” Mulvaney continued. “But if the straight-up question is: Is the president interested in continuing what he sees as corporate welfare and bailouts for the insurance companies? No.”

The administration, however, opened the door to negotiations on the now-canceled payments. After speaking to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Saturday, Trump said a temporary deal could be struck on shoring up the insurance markets. Mulvaney suggested the insurance payments could be a bargaining chip in a broader negotiation with Congress to either repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law — or fund Trump’s long-stalled border wall with Mexico.

Mulvaney is bullish about securing Trump’s priorities in a December funding bill, and he threatened — not for the first time — a government shutdown if Trump doesn’t get them.

“The president fully expects his priorities to be funded, and the wall is one of them,” Mulvaney said. “It would be highly unlikely for the president to sign a funding bill in December that does not fund his priorities.”

Mulvaney added that members of Congress he meets with probably “think that’s a credible threat.”

The government runs out of money on Dec. 8, a deadline that will trigger high-stakes negotiations with the White House over how to avoid a government shutdown. An immigration bill, debt ceiling increase or wall money could all be in the mix with the Obamacare payments.

“It depends on what else it’s attached to, right?” Mulvaney said of the administration’s position on the bipartisan health care payments proposal. “Take it on its own, I don’t know how you describe Murray-Alexander as anything other than a continuation of these subsidies and I don’t know how much interest there would be on that. If it’s part and parcel … of a larger discussion on health care, then maybe it’s something to look at.”

The tough talk from Mulvaney represents a hard line by the Trump administration toward Congress after months of frustration at the GOP-controlled Congress’ inability to repeal Obamacare. The president and his aides are foisting the issues of immigration, foreign policy and now Obamacare payments on Congress, hoping to extract conservative legislation out of a GOP legislative caucus consumed by infighting.

Republican leaders are worried that Trump’s move to end Obamacare subsidy payments could backfire on them in the 2018 midterms, inciting voters upset about skyrocketing insurance payments. But Mulvaney said voters are far more likely to punish congressional Republicans for failing to live up to a seven-year promise: repealing Obamacare.

“There’s a long list of reasons that Republicans could pay a price for something in the midterms, and my guess is at the top of the list is failure to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Mulvaney said. “So do I think [stopping subsidy payments] turns [into] an issue in a midterm election? Probably not.”

Democrats panned Trump’s Thursday evening decision as irresponsible and pleaded with GOP leaders not to cut off the bipartisan talks.

“I continue to be optimistic about our negotiations and believe we can reach a deal quickly — and I urge Republican leaders in Congress to do the right thing for families this time by supporting our work,” Murray said on Friday morning.

With the dour view from the administration, House and Senate Republicans are planning to unveil a proposal next week aimed at increasing GOP support for the cost-sharing payments, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in an interview on Friday. The plan would mandate the sale of catastrophic health care plans, expand the use of health savings accounts and require insurers to reduce premiums if they accept the cost-sharing payments.

“I’ve always viewed the higher hurdles [to passage of a bill as being in] the House. Doesn’t do us a whole lot of good to come up with an agreement in the Senate that can’t pass the House,” Johnson said. He said the Senate has had “excellent discussions, but in the end we need to make sure we can get House members on board.”

Many Republicans, including GOP congressional leaders, have been urging Trump to continue the payments. But the White House viewed the failure of Obamacare repeal in the Senate as a breaking point, and saw no use in keeping up the payments without larger health care legislation on the horizon. The Justice Department also provided legal cover, pronouncing that the payments are unconstitutional.

That move by Trump also represents a significant internal win for Mulvaney, whose hard-line stances on spending and the debt ceiling have at times been spurned by the president. Mulvaney said he’d been trying to persuade Trump to end the payments since he was sworn in as budget director.

“I’ve been making the case from the beginning of the administration that we shouldn’t be making these payments,” said Mulvaney. “Not only are they bad policy, in terms of bailing out companies that don’t need to be bailed out, but №2, they’re unconstitutional.”

Trump Guts American Health Care In One Day — Time for Republicans Who Have Said They Support CSR…

In one day, between an Executive Order that will de-stabilize the insurance market and cutting off cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, President Trump has done what Congress repeatedly refused to — gut American health care. But, in slashing cost sharing reduction payments, not only is Trump out of step with the American people — he is out of step with many in his own party including key Senators, Governors and House members.

Now, the same Republicans who have spoken out in favor of efforts to stabilize the market and continue these payments which keep out of pocket costs low for millions of Americans, must step up and

immediately work to pass legislation to restore cost sharing reduction payments and stabilize the market or the political consequences associated with gutting people’s health care won’t just fall on Trump.

See what Republicans have said is support of continuing cost sharing reduction payments…

REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “If My Side Is Unable To Agree On An Adequate Replacement, Then Some Kind Of Action With Regard To The Private Health Insurance Market Must Occur.” “If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur,’ McConnell said. ‘No action is not an alternative. We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.” [Washington Post, 7/6/17]

Sen. John Thune (R-SD): “I Hope The President Will Continue To Make Those Payments.” [Kasie Hunt Tweet, 8/1/17]

House Deputy Majority Whip Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): “Asked If He Thought Congress Should Provide The Money, Mr. Cole Said, ‘My Personal Opinion Is Yes.’” “I don’t think anyone wants to disrupt the markets more than they already are.” Asked if he thought Congress should provide the money, Mr. Cole said, “My personal opinion is yes.” [New York Times, 4/10/17]

REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN): Sen. Alexander “Recommended The Trump Administration Find A Way, Either Through Administrative Action Or Legislation Or A Combination, To Extend Temporary Cost-Sharing Payments Under The Affordable Care Act At Least Through 2018 — And Probably Should Go Ahead And Do It Through 2019.’” He “recommended the Trump administration ‘find a way, either through administrative action or legislation or a combination, to extend temporary cost-sharing payments under the Affordable Care Act at least through 2018 — and probably should go ahead and do it through 2019.’” [Statement, 6/15/17]

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “Without Payment Of These Cost-Sharing Reductions, Americans Will Be Hurt.” “‘Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt. Up to half of the states will likely have bare counties with zero insurance providers offering insurance on the exchanges, and insurance premiums will increase by roughly 20%, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).” [Alexander Statement, 8/1/17]

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): We Should “Approve The Temporary Continuation Of Cost-Sharing Subsidies For Deductibles And Co-Pays.” “‘While we build replacements, we want the 11 million Americans who now buy insurance on the exchanges to be able to continue to buy private insurance. Among the actions that will help are to… approve the temporary continuation of cost-sharing subsidies for deductibles and co-pays.’” [Politico Pro, 1/13/17]

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “I Think They’re Going To Have To Be Paid.” “I think they’re going to have to be paid.” “You can’t let people be without basic health care.” [Politico, 7/18/17]

House Ways And Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX): “We Should Act Within Our Constitutional Authority Now To Temporarily And Legally Fund Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments As We Move Away From Obamacare.” “We should act within our constitutional authority now to temporarily and legally fund cost-sharing reduction payments as we move away from Obamacare.” “Insurers have made clear the lack of certainty is causing 2018 proposed premiums to rise significantly.” [New York Times, 6/8/17]

House Energy And Commerce Committee Chair Greg Walden (R-WA): “I Will Do Everything I Can To Make Sure The Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Get Made.” “I will do everything I can to make sure the cost-sharing reduction payments get made, especially this year where they were promised by the federal government under the contracts.” “That’s an obligation not only to insurers but also to the people who took on those plans. We cannot leave them high and dry.” [Bloomberg, 3/30/17]

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson (R-WI): The Senate Should “Bite The Bullet And Stabilize Those Markets.” “Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has for months called for a bipartisan stabilization bill that would guarantee funding for ObamaCare payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, to insurers. Those payments are key to avoiding premium spikes and keeping insurers in the markets. Johnson said Tuesday that he hopes the GOP can pass something next week, but if not, ‘bite the bullet and stabilize those markets.’” [The Hill, 7/13/17]

OTHER REPUBLICANS

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): “Cutting Health Care Subsidies Will Mean More Uninsured In My District. @POTUS Promised More Access, Affordable Coverage. This Does Opposite.” [Tweet, 10/12/17]

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL): “Cost Sharing Reductions Are Critical To Low Income Americans. Congress Should Guarantee Their Funding Through The Appropriations Process.” [Tweet, 10/13/17]

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY): “If Congress Doesn’t Get It Done The People Who Suffer Are The People Back Home.” “GOP Rep. Tom Reed calls for Congress to fund CSRs. ‘If Congress doesn’t get it done the people who suffer are the people back home.’” [Tweet, 10/13/17]

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): “Now Congress Must Act And Pass The Problem Solvers Caucus Health Care Plan That…Funds The Cost-Sharing Reduction Program.” “Now Congress must act and pass the Problem Solvers Caucus health care plan that I have endorsed. It funds the cost-sharing reduction program through the congressional appropriations process and implements free-market policies to improve our health care system and lower medical and insurance costs for all.” [Statement, 10/13/17]

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “Families Would Be Hurt” If Payments Not Made.” [Sahil Kapur Tweet, 8/1/17]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “It Really Would Be Detrimental To Some Of The Most Vulnerable Citizens If Those Payments Were Cut Off.” “It would not affect my vote on health care, but it’s an example of why we need to act to make sure that those payments, which are not an insurance company bailout, but rather help people who are very low-income afford their out-of-pocket costs towards their deductibles and their co-pays. And that’s what we need to remember. So, it really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off. They’re paid to the insurance companies, but the people that they benefit are people who make between 100 percent and 250 percent of the poverty rate. So, we’re talking about low-income Americans who would be devastated if those payments were cut off, though the threat to cut off those payments has contributed to the instability in the insurance market.” [Collins on CNN’s State of the Union, 7/30/17]

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “Very Concerned” About Executive Order And Cutting CSR Funding.” “Susan Collins says she’s ‘very concerned’ with Trump’s new ACA EO and decision to do away with CSRs.” [10/12/17]

Susan Collins: “It Is Absolutely Essential That The CSR Payments Continue.” [Huffington Post’s Matt Fuller Tweet, 8/1/17]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “The Senate Should Step Back And Engage In A Bipartisan Process To Address The Failures Of The ACA And Stabilize The Individual Markets.” “As I’ve been saying, the Senate should take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA and stabilize the individual markets. That will require members on both sides of the aisle to roll up their sleeves and take this to the open committee process where it belongs.” [Murkowski Statement, 7/18/17]

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN): “If We Pull The Subsidies … I Think There Would Be Nobody With A Health Insurance Plan Next Year.” “If we pull the subsidies … I think there would be nobody with a health insurance plan next year.” [Politico, 4/26/17]

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND): “As Long As It’s [The Subsidies] Are Part Of The Law Of The Land, It’s Our Job To Appropriate The Money.” “As long as it’s [the subsidies] are part of the law of the land, it’s our job to appropriate the money.” [Politico, 4/5/17]

GOVERNORS, INCLUDING REPUBLICANS

National Governors Association: “The Federal Government Should Fully Fund The Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs) For The Remainder Of CY 2017 And CY 2018.” “The federal government should fully fund the cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) for the remainder of CY 2017 and CY 2018 and offer long-term certainty about the future of CSRs.” [NGA, 6/20/17]

Govs. Kasich, Hickenlooper, Sandoval, Wolf, Walker, McAuliffe, Edwards, Bullock: Trump Administration Should Make CSR Payments And Congress Should Explicitly Appropriate Funds Through 2019. “The Trump Administration should commit to making cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), National Governors Association, and United States Chamber of Commerce have identified this as an urgent necessity…Also, Congress should put to rest any uncertainty about the future of CSR payments by explicitly appropriating federal funding for these payments at least through 2019. This guarantee would protect the assistance working Americans need to afford their insurance, give carriers the confidence they need to stay in the market, increase competition, and create more options for consumers.” [Letter, 8/31/17]

Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas: Calls Trump’s Threat To Withdraw Cost-Sharing Payments “Very Problematic.” “However, Hutchinson says he does have concerns about President Trump’s threat to withdraw cost-sharing from insurance companies if no healthcare bill is passed. Cost-sharing creates a healthcare fund that covers co-payments and deductibles for low-income enrollees. ‘That would be very problematic. That is like withdrawing one little element of the Affordable Care Act… without having a comprehensive reform,’ said Hutchinson.” [Arkansas Public Radio, 8/4/17]

Govs. McAuliffe And Baker On Behalf Of The Health And Human Services Committee, National Governors Association: “A First Critical Step In Stabilizing The Individual Health Insurance Marketplaces Is To Fully Fund CSRs For The Remainder Of Calendar Year 2017 Through 2018.” “The Administration has the opportunity to stabilize the health insurance market across our nation and ensure that our residents can continue to access affordable health care coverage. A first critical step in stabilizing the individual health insurance marketplaces is to fully fund CSRs for the remainder of calendar year 2017 through 2018. This is a necessary step to stabilize the individual marketplaces in the short term as Congress and the Administration address long-term reform efforts.” [NGA, 8/2/17]

Govs. Hickenlooper, Bullock, Sandoval, Hogan, Wolf, Edwards, McAuliffe, Baker, Kasich, And Scott: Instead Of Pursuing Health Care Repeal, “We Ask Senators To Work With Governors On Solutions To Problems We Can All Agree On: Fixing Our Unstable Insurance Markets.” “Instead, we ask senators to work with governors on solutions to problems we can all agree on: fixing our unstable insurance markets. Improvements should be based on a set of guiding principles, which include controlling costs and stabilizing the market, that will positively impact the coverage and care of millions of Americans, including many who are dealing with mental illness, chronic health problems, and drug addiction.” [Letter, 7/26/17]

Govs. Kasich, Bullock, Hogan, Edwards, Walker, Hickenlooper, Baker, Wolf, Scott, McAuliffe, And Sandoval: “Congress Should Work To Make Health Insurance More Affordable By Controlling Costs And Stabilizing The Market.” “Congress should work to make health insurance more affordable by controlling costs and stabilizing the market, and we are pleased to see a growing number of senators stand up for this approach.” [Letter, 7/18/17]

Trump’s CSR Sabotage In the Headlines

Trump’s CSR Sabotage In the Headlines

Late last night, President Trump announced he was cutting off the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction payments, paving the way for massive premium increases and potentially sowing chaos in the country’s health care marketplace. How is this being described? Take a look for yourself…

Washington Post: Throwing a bomb into the insurance markets, Trump now owns the broken health-care system

NPR: Trump Administration To End Obamacare Subsidies For The Poor

Axios: ​Trump takes a sledgehammer to the ACA

Washington Post: Trump moves from firing shots at Obamacare to all-out war

Washington Post: Trump’s not going to be able to avoid blame for kneecapping Obamacare

Politico: Trump does more to undercut Obamacare in one day than Congress did all year

Vox: Trump will pull Obamacare subsidies in another attack on health law

Vox: Trump’s acting like Obamacare is just politics. It’s people’s lives.

New York Daily News: Trump to scrap Obamacare subsidies designed to help low-income Americans

New York Times: Trump to Scrap Critical Health Care Subsidies, Hitting Obamacare Again

Talking Points Memo: Trump Admin Ends Key O’care Payments In Latest Move To Undermine Law

Health Affairs: Administration’s Ending Of Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Likely To Roil Individual Markets

Forbes: Trump’s End To Obamacare Subsidies Hurts Patients, Not Insurers

Vice: Trump just made healthcare more expensive for millions of people

Bloomberg: Trump Cuts Off Health-Insurer Subsidy, Threatening Obamacare Chaos

CNBC: Obamacare bombshell: Trump kills key payments to health insurers

MSNBC: Trump goes to war against his own country’s health care system

Slate: Trump Will Reportedly Cut Vital Obamacare Subsidy, Potentially Throwing Marketplaces into Upheaval

Salon: Donald Trump unwittingly admits he’s sabotaging health care

Politico: Trump will scrap critical Obamacare subsidies

Real Vail: Obamacare now Trumpcare as president moves on his own to gut Affordable Care Act

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Trump to stop paying insurers, putting Obamacare in limbo

NBC News: White House Says It Will End Key Obamacare Subsidies to Insurers

Reuters: Trump scraps key Obamacare subsidies, urges Democrats to fix ‘broken mess’

Protect Our Care Statement on Reports Trump is Canceling CSR Payments

In response to news reports tonight that the Trump administration plans to cancel funding the cost-sharing-reduction payments — a part of the Affordable Care Act — Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse made the following statement.

“The President of the United States is now running a daily campaign to sabotage the health care of the American people. Nonpartisan analysts say canceling these payments means making people pay 20% higher premiums.

“The Trump administration and every Republican in Congress who lets him do this, is now responsible for every rate hike people see for the foreseeable future. They broke it, they own it.”

THOSE WHO KNOW HEALTH CARE THE BEST SAY TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER IS THE WORST

Patient groups, hospitals, doctors, industry experts, consumer groups, teachers and faith leaders have all come out against President Trump’s latest effort to sabotage our health care through Executive Order.

As eighteen patient groups wrote, “This order has the potential to price millions of people with pre-existing conditions and serious illnesses out of the individual insurance market and put millions more at risk through the sale of insurance plans that won’t cover all the services patients want to stay healthy or the critical care they need when they get sick.”

Read what the rest had to say here…

PATIENT GROUPS

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Liver Foundation, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Crohn’s And Colitis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Lutheran Services In America, March Of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Health Council, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization For Rare Disorders, United Way Worldwide, Volunteers Of America, Womenheart: “This Order Has The Potential To Price Millions Of People With Pre-Existing Conditions And Serious Illnesses Out Of The Individual Insurance Market And Put Millions More At Risk.” “This order has the potential to price millions of people with pre-existing conditions and serious illnesses out of the individual insurance market and put millions more at risk through the sale of insurance plans that won’t cover all the services patients want to stay healthy or the critical care they need when they get sick…Together, these actions would likely split the market between those who need the comprehensive benefits provided under current law and those who are currently healthy and can gamble with substandard coverage. Siphoning off healthy people into risky, low-value plans, could leave millions of Americans with chronic or serious illnesses in an unsustainable insurance pool with rising premiums and fewer choices. It could also leave those who are healthy seriously underinsured when they face an unexpected health crisis.” [Letter, 10/12/17]

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: “Health Care Changes Could Leave Millions Of Cancer Patients And Survivors Unable To Access Meaningful Coverage.” “Today’s executive order jeopardizes the ability of millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease from being able to access or afford meaningful health insurance. Exempting an entire set of health plans from covering essential health benefits like prescription drugs or specialty care and allowing expansion and renewability of bare-bones short-term plans will split the insurance market. If younger and healthier people leave the market, people with serious illnesses like cancer will be left facing higher and higher premiums with few, if any, insurance choices. Moreover, those who purchase cheap plans are likely to discover their coverage is inadequate when an unexpected health crisis happens leaving them financially devastated and costing the health care system more overall.” [ACS CAN, 10/12/17]

HOSPITALS

American Hospital Association: “These Provisions Could Destabilize The Individual And Small Group Markets, Leaving Millions Of Americans Who Need Comprehensive Coverage To Manage Chronic And Other Pre-Existing Conditions.” “Today’s Executive Order will allow health insurance plans that cover fewer benefits and offer fewer consumer protections…In addition, these provisions could destabilize the individual and small group markets, leaving millions of Americans who need comprehensive coverage to manage chronic and other pre-existing conditions, as well as protection against unforeseen illness and injury, without affordable options.” [AHA, 10/12/17]

DOCTORS

American Medical Association: “The Executive Order’s Proposal To Expand Access To Association Health Plans And Allow Short-Term Plans To Cover Longer Time Periods May Weaken Important Patient Protections And Lead To Instability In The Individual Health Insurance Market.” “The AMA supports patient choice and promoting market competition, and supports the concept of association health plans. We have concerns, however, the Executive Order’s proposal to expand access to association health plans and allow short-term plans to cover longer time periods may weaken important patient protections and lead to instability in the individual health insurance market.” [AMA, 10/12/17]

INDUSTRY EXPERTS

American Academy Of Actuaries: “These Effects Could Include Tilting The Market In Favor Of Entities With Weaker Benefits Or Solvency Standards And Weakening The Protections For Consumers With Pre-Existing Health Conditions.” “‘Creating exemptions from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance market rules can have far-reaching and unintended effects,’ said Academy Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello. ‘These effects could include tilting the market in favor of entities with weaker benefits or solvency standards and weakening the protections for consumers with pre-existing health conditions.’” [AAA, 10/12/17]

CONSUMER GROUPS

Consumers Union: “Executive Order On Health Plans Destabilizes Insurance Markets, Hurts Consumers, Drives Up Costs.” “While this executive order claims to help improve consumers’ access to affordable care, it would have the exact opposite effect. Allowing insurers to sell substandard association health plans that aren’t required to cover basic services and benefits will further fragment and destabilize the insurance markets as a whole. This action splits the market into two, pitting the healthy against those with preexisting conditions and life-threatening illnesses — but ultimately both groups lose in this new scheme.” [Consumers Union, 10/12/17]

TEACHERS

American Federation Of Teachers: [Donald Trump] “Is Ignoring The Rule Of Law, Refusing To Compromise, And Doing An End-Run Around Congress In Order To Strip People Of Their Healthcare.” “Donald Trump owns the unwinding of the Affordable Care Act. He is ignoring the rule of law, refusing to compromise, and doing an end-run around Congress in order to strip people of their healthcare. Millions of Americans will be worse off because of his actions. This is an ongoing pattern of the Trump administration’s callous sabotage of Obamacare, and it will cause real harm to American families, leading to increased premiums and loss of coverage for those most in need of healthcare and flooding markets with cheap, limited ‘junk’ insurance.” [AFT, 10/12/17]

FAITH LEADERS

NETWORK Lobby: “The Trump Administration Continues To Do As Much As Possible To Destabilize The American Healthcare System, Increase Costs For Families, And Prevent People From Accessing The Care They Need.” “The Trump Administration continues to do as much as possible to destabilize the American healthcare system, increase costs for families, and prevent people from accessing the care they need. Today’s executive order is the latest attack on our healthcare, following a long line of attempts to repeal and cripple the ACA. This executive order will drive up premiums for many — especially middle-class families and people with pre-existing conditions — to further undermine the ACA. It is morally reprehensible to hurt people through unjust policies for political gain.” [Statement, 10/12/17]