President Trump has tried various aggressive tactics in order to deliver on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately none of his those efforts have been successful, however, he continues to insist that Obamacare is failing.
On Thursday, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a study which found that threats and otherwise mixed signals from the Trump administration have created market uncertainty “far outside the norm,” leading insurers to seek higher premium increases for 2018 than would otherwise have been the case.
This is exactly what Donald Trump has been trying to accomplish. The president and other GOP leaders repeatedly threatened to “let Obamacare fail.” For any insurer, that would be worrisome. Both the House and Senate drafts of repeal and replace bills tinkered with the individual mandate. When the effort to shove Better Care Reconciliation Act through the Senate was at its apex, President Trump was shaming holdouts in his own party. Then, finally, came the threats to just stop sending billions of dollars of payments to insurers.
The study conducted by KFF looked at benchmark silver plans, largely considered the default, across major cities in 20 states and Washington, D.C. They found that 15 of those cities will see increases of 10 percent or more next year, while the “cost of employer-sponsored coverage is expected to rise around 5 or 6 percent next year, benefits consultants say.”
As we get closer to open enrollment season, expect that Trump will double-down on his repeal rhetoric and he’ll probably have some folksy anecdotes like: ‘Blank from Blankville just found out that her premiums will increase fifteen percent next year!’ It’s unclear whether the president will then explain to the American people the extent to which he is to blame for these “skyrocketing premiums,” but smart money says he’s not even going to mention it.