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After Congress Fails, Trump Is Now Biggest Threat to Your Health Care

How dangerous are President Donald Trump’s threats to stop subsidies to insurers? We now know, thanks to a new report.
Photo Credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr
By Pablo Ros ·

Now that right-wing lawmakers in Congress have failed to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans, the biggest threat that remains is President Donald Trump.

Trump has been threatening to stop subsidy payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would wreak havoc and destabilize insurance markets and make it exponentially harder for working families to pay for health care coverage.

A report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows exactly how reckless Trump’s promised actions would be. The report was published this week by the CBO, a nonpartisan federal agency that provides analysis on the budget and the economy to Congress.

According to the CBO, should Trump follow through on his threats, premiums for the most popular ACA insurance plans would shoot up by 20 percent next year and 25 percent by 2020. Also, federal budget deficits would spike by $194 billion in the coming decade.

California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic Leader, said that if Trump implements his threats, he will be “single-handedly responsible for raising premiums across America by 25 percent, exploding the deficit by nearly $200 billion, and creating more bare counties” without insurers.

Consumer-advocacy groups also blasted Trump for proposing to let Obamacare wither.

“For the president to withhold these payments now would constitute deliberate sabotage – pure and simple. The president won’t just be watching the health care system fail; he’ll be wrecking it himself,” Families USA, which advocates for affordable health care for all, said in a statement.

Under the ACA, insurers are required to offer plans with reduced deductibles, copayments and “other means of cost sharing to some of the people who purchase plans through the marketplaces established by that legislation,” according to the CBO report. Insurers, in turn, get federal payments to cover their costs of providing affordable coverage.

Since its 2010 passage, the ACA has helped millions of American families afford health insurance, saving countless lives and bringing peace of mind to people with pre-existing conditions.

AFSCME members played a key role in passing the ACA and in blocking efforts by right-wing lawmakers to repeal it. We will continue to raise our voices until Congress and the president stop trying to destroy our nation’s health care system. 

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