Trump plans to cut billions in healthcare subsidies for low-income Americans
The Trump administration plans to cut off billions of dollars worth of subsidies that currently reduce the amount low-income Americans pay for health insurance through Affordable Care Act exchanges, Politico reports.
Currently, individuals can qualify for cost-sharing reductions that lower their out-of-pocket monthly premiums. The government contributed an estimated $7 billion to subsidize these “extra savings” in 2017. These subsidies are part of the federal budget, so the government is on the hook to pay them, meaning Trump’s order to stop doing so will result in massive lawsuits on behalf of taxpayers to recoup money they’re owed by existing legislation.
It’s Trump’s most dramatic attack yet on the system. Since Congress failed to repeal and replace Obamacare outright, the White House has taken several steps to make it harder for people to enroll in insurance plans for 2018, and an executive order Trump signed Thursday (which he almost forgot to physically sign) proposes even more ways to undermine ACA marketplaces.
The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that getting rid of these subsidies will increase “silver-level” Obamacare premiums by 20 percent, and won’t even save the government money. As always, Trump is just looking for opportunities to say the word “Obama,” talk shit, and pretend he’s accomplishing anything on behalf of the American people.