As President Donald Trump yodels about the Obamacare “death spiral,” he may be getting his wish.
The latest blow to rational health care policy came when the Trump administration asked for a second deadline extension to respond to a lawsuit filed by the GOP-led House which challenges subsidies for low-income Americans buying health insurance on Obamacare exchanges.
That puts the future of those subsides in doubt as insurers are setting rates for 2018. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated the subsidies targeted by the lawsuit lowered deductibles by as much as $3,354 and cut annual out-of-pocket costs by as much as $5,587.
Now, with Republicans in the House enthusiastically sawing the legs off Obamacare but Senate Republicans balking at a quick replacement, insurers are rightly skittish. And a nervous insurance market means higher costs.
Uncertainty about the subsidies “is the single most destabilizing factor in the individual market, and millions of Americans could soon feel the impact of fewer choices, higher costs, and reduced access to care,” a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a lobbying group for insurers, told Bloomberg.
Obamacare needed tweaks to ensureoptions and lower costs. But Trump’s apparent self-fulfilling prophesy of the Obamacare “death spiral” is nihilistic.