Trump Threatens To End Obamacare Payments And "Insurance Bailouts" Unless Repeal Passes

With the Senate having failed to repeal Obamacare, after a critical "Nay" vote by John McCain crushed Trump's biggest campaign promise shortly after midnight on Thursday, Trump is plans to kill Obamacare slowly, and this time he has vowed to take insurance companies and members of Congress down with it.

The president on Saturday threatened to end key payments to Obamacare insurance companies if a repeal and replace bill is not passed. "After seven years of 'talking' Repeal & Replace, the people of our great country are still being forced to live with imploding ObamaCare!" Trump tweeted, followed by: "If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!."

This is not the first time Trump has made a similar threat: the president previously threatened to withhold Cost Sharing Reduction payments, or CSR, which lower the amount individuals have to pay for deductibles, co-payments and insurance. While the White House announced earlier this month that key ObamaCare subsidies to insurers would be paid this month, the administration did not make a commitment beyond July.  Trump's threat may have a significantly adverse impact on the insurance sector when it opens on Monday.

Incidentally, Trump is not wrong when he claims that insurance companies have received implicit taxpayer-funded bailout: as the chart below shows, insurance company stocks are up 700% since Obama became president, more than double the S&P's return.

After the Friday morning Senate vote, Trump wasted no time to threaten to sabotage Obamacare.  “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down,” the president tweeted at 2:25 a.m. Friday. “As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode, then deal. Watch!”

As Bloomberg notes, there are two key ways the President of the U.S. could undermine the law: asking his agencies not to enforce the individual mandate created under Obamacare; and stopping funds for subsidies that help insurers offset health-care costs for low-income Americans. Both moves could further disrupt the Affordable Care Act’s individual markets and eventually lead to higher premiums, or rather even higher premiums that Obamacare itself has led to.

Where does this leave Trump’s implosion threat?

One of the first steps the president could take would be to stop the monthly CSRs. The administration last made a payment about a week ago for the previous 30 days, but hasn’t made a long-term commitment. Trump has called the subsidies a “bailout” for insurance companies in the past, and he just did it again on Saturday.  “We are still considering our options,” Ninio Fetalvo, a spokesman for Trump, said in an e-mail. Meanwhile, America’s Health Insurance Plans, a lobby group for the industry, said premiums would rise by about 20 percent if the payments aren’t made. Many insurers have already dropped out of Obamacare markets in the face of mounting losses and blamed the uncertainty over the future of the cost-sharing subsidies and the individual mandate as one of the reasons behind this year’s hikes in premium.

“If certainty is not brought to the market and policymakers in Washington fail to establish stabilization measures, consumers face the prospect of significantly higher costs,” Ceci Connolly, chief executive officer of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, wrote.

Another way Trump could hamper the ACA is to instruct Price’s department to direct little or no support to open enrollment when people sign up for Obamacare plans near the end of the year. It could include ignoring website upkeep, not advertising the enrollment period and offering little help for people who have difficulty signing up.

Finally, the Trump administration could simply choose not to enforce the penalties surrounding the individual mandate of Obamacare for uninsured people or broaden exemptions to the law. The Internal Revenue Service, which enforces the penalty, said in January it would no longer reject filings if taxpayers didn’t indicate whether they had insurance. Unless the IRS follows up with each silent filing, this could let some uninsured people dodge the penalty.

As Bloomberg observes, all the moves would have an impact over time. For now, only one thing is certain: nothing is certain. As Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, puts it in a series of tweets:“The big question in health care now is what will happen with the individual insurance market,” Levitt said. “Insurers will be reading all the tea leaves for what the administration will do with cost-sharing payments and the individual mandate.”

Actually, one more thing is certain: while opinions on Trump's approach to Obamacare repeal may differ, virtually all Americans can unite behind Trump's threat to finally end bailouts of members of Congress. Whether or not he will follow up and enforce it, is a different matter entirely.


Abaco OutaTime43 Sun, 07/30/2017 - 10:01 Permalink

How cute.  All that means is that the insurance companies can have 20% of the total bill with no restriction on the total bill.  Wink Wink, Nod, Nod every grifter in the medical business raises their prices as high as they want and the insurance companies have a negative incentive to hold down costs. All those dumb ass faggots who never developed a more refined method of intellectual inquiry than getting high and eating pizza in the dorm with like minded idiots actually think they wrote a bill that contains costs. A lot of those assholes actually thought their bill would do what lying Obama said it would Hell, he probably believed that bullshit too - just like he believed in shovel ready jobs 

In reply to by OutaTime43

Putrid_Scum JRobby Sat, 07/29/2017 - 15:35 Permalink

Hi Robby,The CBs are terrified of the Cryptos. Not so much Gold (for now).I really don't like what I'm hearing about the situation at The Family level. They don't know what to do. There's no historical precedent for where we're at, so there's no historical guidance. Without direction from The Families the different factions are screaming at each other. E.G. Qatar and other childish stuff.Putrid

In reply to by JRobby

Putrid_Scum lil dirtball Sat, 07/29/2017 - 20:06 Permalink

Why attack me, I just don't want my intellectual friends at Zerohedge to get flagged while buying alternative money. You hate the unofficial leadership? You want their power? HaOk, so. What System Level choice would you take? And how would you implement such at the framework and operational level without causing disintegration of the System, and society, which keeps you and your children alive?Come on now, don't be shy. Don't you know, I am already entertained. Putrid  

In reply to by lil dirtball

Son of Loki curbjob Sat, 07/29/2017 - 15:21 Permalink

Only one of my three docs accepts Soweetocare and some of the Big Hospitals near me don't accept it.Donald needs to pull suffering middle class Americans out of their misery due to the Shit Pies Obama left him and for Americans. Congress is lots to blame also since they let this disaster pass knowing it was very destructive.

In reply to by curbjob

swmnguy Son of Loki Sat, 07/29/2017 - 20:15 Permalink

What exactly is "Soweetocare" that your doctors and hospitals don't accept?Where I live, there's no such thing.  You can buy coverage from a variety of private corporate insurers.  Every clinic takes the insurance.  Some are in-network for your insurance, some are not, depending on which insurance company's policy you bought.There's no policy called "ObamaCare" or "ACA" or "Soweetocare", which doesn't even make sense as a name because it refer to a district in South Africa with no connection whatsoever to Obama.  Perhaps if you had South African slum insurance it wouldn't be accepted in the US but I doubt you're referring to that.There are plenty of problems with Obamacare.  There's no need to  make stuff up.

In reply to by Son of Loki

Bob curbjob Sat, 07/29/2017 - 15:39 Permalink

Funny, gotta admit.  And Trump has protesteth so much by tweet about "letting obamacare die" that if/when it does--even if he doesn't actively engineer it, as it again appears he's doing--it will be hung around his neck.  The fucking idiot put it there himself.  Unbelievable. 

In reply to by curbjob

BritBob Sat, 07/29/2017 - 14:49 Permalink

Trump needs to keep an eye on the Spanish - Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena twice tried to disrupt the visit by ballistic missile sub USS Florida as it was approaching the British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain.According to the Sun, the incident has caused outrage among senior officials in Gibraltar with one 'top source' saying: 'This is not only a very dangerous game for the Spanish to play but it is unbecoming of a NATO ally to treat the US Navy with such contempt.'(Daily Mail 6 May 2016) Looks like Spain will try and play the Gibraltar card  (A worthless sovereignty claim): Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law: Gibraltar is an important NATO base.

Blanco Diablo BritBob Sat, 07/29/2017 - 15:33 Permalink

While Buccaneer Bob buggars himself and dreams of Piracy, Slavery and looting of foreign lands..... London has fallen, England is lost to Islam...Steal a piece of the Rock (Gibraltar) An act of piracy , British obtained ‘a monopoly of the slave trade to Spanish-America. During the Spanish succession war the UK supported the side of the Austrian claimant to the throne, and invaded Gibraltar on its name (since they were not involved in a war against Spain). Shortly after they however decided to claim it for themselves, which means it was an act of piracy.The United Nations has repeatedly stated that Gibraltar should be returned to Spain. We can read in Encyclopedia Britannica of 1879 (vol. 10, page 586) that the British occupation of Gibraltar was an act of piracy against England’s honor. In 1862 British Liberal statesman John Bright stated that Gibraltar was taken and kept by England when there was no war between England and Spain, and its acquisition was against every possible moral law and code of honor. The Isthmus, now lawlessly occupied by Britain, was lent from Spain in the 19th century as part of a humanitarian and Patriotic initiative (Spanish consider Gibraltarians as compatriots) in order to isolate the Gibraltar population affected by Yellow Fever. Since then, Britain has illicitly claimed it as its own, going so far as to erect an airport. In 1951 Irish professor of Hispanic Studies at Glasgow University William C. Atkinson stated that England added insult to injury by doing so. England is not in possession of a complete sovereignty over Gibraltar: As agreed in Utrecht, Spain would not concede any Territorial Jurisdiction. This means that England can not dictate laws in Gibraltar, and is therefore, not in a governing position.…

In reply to by BritBob

Mr Hankey micksavage2010 Sat, 07/29/2017 - 23:55 Permalink

I kindalike the fact that even the Brit-Bobs get a word in edgewise on this site.I know I've  said some stupid shit & Im still here. I am really fond of ZH and Its imperfect yet genuine dedication to 1A.Itz actually harder 2 get banned in recent years, a double -edged sword  ,a seeming loss of IQ points, but I AM entertained.2Peeps GAS  what BB has 2 say , yet he has a voice .I love fight club.BB even got an informed, educational  response from Diablo Blanco.

In reply to by micksavage2010