"The Democrats ObamaCare Is Imploding" Trump Tweets Hours After Cutting Off "Broken Mess" Obamacare Subsidies

Update: President Trump has continued to hammer Obamacare...

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As we detailed earlier, it was an early morning for a seemingly excited, insomniac Donald Trump, who shortly before 6am tweeted on the topic of the night, namely the late Thursday elimination of subsidies to health insurers, which took place just hours after the president signed an executive order to designed to draw people away from Obamacare coverage markets.

"The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!"

As reported last night, late on Thursday, the Trump administration said it would immediately stop paying what are known as cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, subsidies. The payments, which have been a subject of legal dispute during the Obama administration, go to health insurers in the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income people with co-pays and other cost sharing. Without them, insurers have said they’ll dramatically raise premiums or pull out of the law’s state-based markets, as Bloomberg reports.

Ahead of the White House announcement, and given the disagreements over the payments including ongoing lawsuit questioning their legality, many health insurers had dramatically raised the premiums they planned to charge for next year in anticipation of not getting the funds. The payments are made monthly, and have been estimated at $7 billion in total this year. “Many, but not all, insurers assumed these payments would end and set 2018 premiums accordingly,” Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said by email. “Those that didn’t build this into their premiums may petition to adjust their rates or threaten to pull out of the marketplace. It seems like we’re in for a chaotic run up to the beginning of open enrollment.”

The White House said the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services both concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare.

“The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” the White House said in the statement.

Separately, acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement that the payments will stop immediately, with no transition period. They next payments were due next week. “Congress has not appropriated money for CSRs, and we will discontinue these payments immediately,” the department said.

Democrats immediately slammed the decision: “Instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems President Trump will singlehandedly hike Americans’ health premiums. It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage,” the Democrats said in a statement.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan backed the move. “Obamacare has proven itself to be a fatally flawed law, and the House will continue to work with the Trump administration to provide the American people a better system,” Ryan said in a statement.

And while Trump may (or may not be) hoping that Democrats will promptly reach out to "fix" the current unstable equilibrium, what he has done in effect is to own Obama's mess, as any subsequent surges in insurance premiums will now be "Trump's fault."

What is more apropos, however, is that having once again slammed the Democrats' most precious law, suddenly the spectre of a government shutdown, and failure to reach a long-term debt ceiling deal on December 8 when the current temporary arrangement runs out, is back front and center, along with the associated risks to various capital markets.


Giant Meteor CuttingEdge Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:10 Permalink

All the pols supported unfettered "illegal" immigration, a sacred government cash cow  .. sales are down.A globalist wet dream, for the one new world of disorder, so ordered. Unfettered immigration has been a major component of the plan to cover for a dying system of fraud and corruption . ..Which could have been easily stopped, dead in it's tracks, had there been any desire for doing so ..No wall ever needed either ..Wonder what they'll think of next ? 

In reply to by CuttingEdge

Billy the Poet BrownCoat Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:57 Permalink

The price of insurance can't possibly go down until they are no longer required to cover pre-existing conditions. If folks want to continue to subsidize medical insurance for the poor then it makes sense to move them onto medicaid. The Obamacare plan was to insure pre-existing conditions, pass the cost on to the broader insurance market and then subsidize those who could no longer afford the higher priced insurance. Removing the subsidy without also moving those with pre-existing conditions out of the market is going to be a huge problem for those who purchase individual policies.

In reply to by BrownCoat

FreeMoney Billy the Poet Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:18 Permalink

Good points.  I would add that insurance is not health care.  To really lower the cost of health care we need to reconnect the buyer with the seller, and eliminate the multiple middlemen in the transaction.Obamacare is a disaster because it was sold to the public as intending to correct market distortions caused by government interferance.  There is no government program that will fix the unintended consequences of earlier government programs.Like what?How about the FDA rules and regulations for medicines and medical instruments?How about the law that requires hospitals to treat everyone that shows up and worry about paying for it later?How about the tax deduction for employers providing health insurance in the first place?How about the restrictions on building new hospital?How about the regulations on running a hospital?How about the limits on licensing doctors and nurses?This market has more government intervention than any other marketI can think of.  No wonder its fucked up.    

In reply to by Billy the Poet

Billy the Poet FreeMoney Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:32 Permalink

Don't forget 'the lines around the states" in regard to insurance sales. Getting rid of those lines is a Trump promise I'd like to see kept.Seems to me that if the insurance industry was deregulated than all sorts of new combinations could be created. For example, there could be policies which specifically cover certain ongoing ailments such as diabetes. A strong network of qualified medical providers could be ensured, some profits could be used to seek better treatment and possible cures as this would benefit both the insured individuals as well as the insurance company which could reduce treatment costs if treatments are more efficient and effective.

In reply to by FreeMoney

Taffy Lewis CheapBastard Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:30 Permalink

Maybe Obamacare was Obama's worst, but I had a hard time explaining to my 15-year old son yesterday the $400 million in cash on pallets that he sent to Iran. He didn't believe it.At least most of his crimes - done outside the law, which defines "crime" - can be undone more easily by Executive Order rather than going through the legal process (save for perhaps the last line of defense - judges).

In reply to by CheapBastard

FireBrander Fizzy Head Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:21 Permalink

Trumps C-promise was to "repeal ObamaCare" and "put something beautiful" in its place...this executive order is a Logarithmic FAIL!1. ObamaCare is still the law; just crippled a bit.2. Trumps 'crippling' will fuck over EVERYONE!>Those that lose the subsidies will be totally fucked and will most likely drop thier insurance.>Millions dropping insurance = EVERYONE ELSE (yes, you and your employer) seeing even more rate hikes.>No insurance = very expensive emergency room daily care that goes unpaid and ends up being covered by Medicaid.>...and that's only the tip of the iceberg!The "Health Industry" is not going to say "Oh, well, we had a good run, time to lower prices and give up our massive incomes/profits"...if you believe they'll do that, you are totally retarded...whatever price they want, they will force it upon you...PAY IT OR DIE.

In reply to by Fizzy Head

ReturnOfDaMac FireBrander Sat, 10/14/2017 - 16:49 Permalink

Quit talking facts to tRumptards.  You are wasting precious time.  Their brains have been so washed by decades of faux that unless shannity says it they won't accept it even when you prove it to them.  They are an idiological, faith based, fact free faction of humanity.  No different than the taliban or isis. Gave up on 'em long time ago.  Gave tRump a chance, hoped he would do better.  But he is just another everyday, jellybean, garden variety neo-con oligarch but in better suits (with a smokin hot wife).

In reply to by FireBrander

Quinvarius OneStinkyDinky Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:09 Permalink

So in your mind, if you ever stop doing CPR on a corpse, you murdered that person?  Nice.  Libtard logic.  Obamacare doesn't work.  It barely even exists as anything but a set of government give aways to Health Insurance providers, and laws that force people into expensive programs.  Obama was a GD moron, and Obamacare was him shitting on the floor in public.

In reply to by OneStinkyDinky

swmnguy Quinvarius Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:00 Permalink

ObamaCare is the problem?  If that's so, why did the Nixon Administration feel the need to introduce HMO plans in 1973, for Christ's Sake?The US Healthcare Finance system has been collapsing for 45 years, slowly at first, but with "waterfalls down" at various points, most recently 2006-2008.  The model that keeps private insurance companies at the center of groups of corporate-owned and managed clinics, hospitals, pharmaceutical and device companies creates a vicious price spiral and always has, regardless of which timid, ad-hoc trivial cosmetic adjustments are applied.OK, so now Trump has decided to completely destroy the Individual Market in healthcare finance.  That's about 5% of Americans, so he can probably get away with blaming Obama for it.  That 5% is almost exclusively self-employed though.  I'm among that 5%.  I've never qualiified for any subsidies because I make too much money, but the payments to insurance companies have helped to keep my premiums lower.Trump is obviously looking to collapse the healthcare finance market completely, so he can blame Obama and force Congress to do something he can take credit for.  He doesn't care what the solution is.  He's a billionaire.  He has no idea whatsoever how health insurance works, just as he doesn't know or care how much of anything else works.  He's simply a vandal, destroying thing for the sake of destroying them.That's exactly what America needs.  In a mere 9 months Trump has inflicted damage to the US and US Empire most of us thought would take at least a decade.  Our allies are quietly deserting us.  Our military is slowly collapsing.  Trade partners are easing out of agreements with the US, and forming their own arrangements without the US.  We've started trade wars with Canada and the UK, for crying out loud.  As an Anarchist, Trump has done more than I had thought possible in a far shorter time than I'd ever imagined.  He's going to collapse the economy, starting with the 18% of it that is the Healthcare Finance sector.  And then with Wilbur Ross's help, they'll bankrupt and liquidate the US, and walk away with the loot.  Just as they did with Trump's New Jersey casinos.

In reply to by Quinvarius

A Sentinel swmnguy Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:32 Permalink


You can trace all problems and high costs to employer subsidized insurance premiums. That happened when the government got into the business of medicine and between you and your doctor.

Lib thinking dictates that if government causes a problem, the answer is MOAR government - and that's been the approach ever since, right up to the ACA - recent enough for most people to remember the broken promises and disastrous effects.

Government sucks at everything. The more it does the worse.

In reply to by swmnguy

FireBrander A Sentinel Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:37 Permalink

The Global "Free Market" has spoken, and the #1 choice for health systems, BY THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, is some form of a single payer system."Free Market" health systems have FAILED to establish themselves across the entire planet...the people could chose it if they wish...but it has been RESOUNDINGLY REJECTED.Please explain...I mean, on paper, it's the perfect system; right? Why would  billions of people, and multitudes of cultures and political systems ALL uniformly reject a "Free Market" based system of health care?WARNING! If you answer this honestly, and correctly, you will have to deal with reality....

In reply to by A Sentinel

techpriest FireBrander Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:57 Permalink

My apologies, but the exact opposite is true.

Here's an illustration I like to use. Go to any sidewalk, and you will see grass and other plants poking through any crevice they can find.

The grass is capitalism: Unless you are planning to sterilize the planet and kill everyone, it will keep coming back, and if left unchecked you will get a whole forest.

The concrete is government trying to force back capitalism all the time. As long as there is enough money they can pretend to make it work, but the minute they stop actively fighting nature/capitalism, it comes right back.

In every single-payer country, no exceptions, you will find that anyone with the means will pay their way into private clinics and hospitals, which tend to be superior to the public ones. With government out of the way this level of quality would quickly become available to everyone in much the same way that I've seen homeless people with cell phones.

Right now, governments are intentionally stupefying and intimidating people into accepting horrible educational, healthcare, and policing institutions, but with the coming national bankruptcies, capitalism will break up and grow over such backward institutions and notions, and I think people then will look back at us like we look back at middle-age monarchies.

TL;DR: Your government may have fooled you, but you cannot fight against nature forever, and capitalism is an unstoppable force of nature so long as humans exist anywhere.

In reply to by FireBrander

Kobe Beef techpriest Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:21 Permalink

LASIK surgery went from $14,999 to $1,499 per eye in under 15 years precisely because it wasn't covered by insurance. Quality went up, availability went up, price went down. I have it on good authority that boob jobs show a similar pricing trajectory. Also not covered by insurance, nor subsidized by government.I think there's a lesson here for the broader healthcare market. Post a price, don't enable government subsidies, and in time, cost of care goes down.Of course, that defeats the whole purpose of creating a cartel and lobbying DC to increase your profits. Hmmm.. did the Health Cartel and the Swamp go too far into blatant racketeering with Obamacare, or will their next offering be even worse?  

In reply to by techpriest

techpriest Kobe Beef Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:46 Permalink

For another example, my wife is a dietitian, and right now she's looking to give up her normal job to work at a Chinese startup. Because that market is less regulated, the startup's business model of app-based counseling can move forward, whereas in Texas, private practice dietitians are required to have an office separate from their home.

The result is that the company is in a position to deliver dietetics and other services for less than half the price, while the consultant can do less work (your market is the world) and earn more money. They want to come to the US, but funny enough the US is more communist than the Chinese in this particular field.

This is one of many examples where workers could earn more, customers could pay less, and the State is holding it back. Its ALL about control, and having the power to grant access to friends and deny access to enemies.

In reply to by Kobe Beef