The political rumble and the lack of clarity in the future course of the U.S. healthcare system is unnerving insurers.
Having repeatedly urged Republican senators to try and undo his predecessor’s healthcare law, in a tactical shift U.S. President Donald Trump has now put the cross hair on insurers with threats of cutting subsidies, the underlying system which makes Obamacare plans affordable.
“If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?” tweeted Trump.
Unable to make significant headway in undoing this law, Trump is unable to keep his campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. He has threatened to let it self-implode.
Although so far, the Trump Administration has continued to make the monthly subsidy payments, withholding them would be a way to make good on his threats.
Ti this end, Republican Senator Rand Paul stated on Monday, that having spoken to Trump on the phone, the president is considering taking executive action to address the issue.
Paul reportedly told Trump he has the authority to create associations that would allow organizations, including AARP that represents retirees, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to offer group health insurance plans.
The White House declined to comment on matter.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, Orrin Hatch, the Senate Finance Committee’s Chairman, stated the deep divide between senators is preventing them to overhaul the healthcare legislation.
“There’s just too much animosity and we’re too divided on healthcare,” said Hatch in an interview while adding that lawmakers should now pivot to tax reforms and could always return to overhauling the healthcare legislation later.
However, some senators were more adamant and were not ready to drop the overhaul of the healthcare legislation.
In an interview Hatch stated, Congress would have to approve new funds for the government’s cost-sharing reduction in subsidies to insurers that Trump has been threatening to end. It is these very subsidies that lower the cost of healthcare for the poor under the Affordable Care Act.
Insurers have asked the government to commit $8 billion in payments for 2018, while adding that their rates are likely to rise or they could even exit the individual insurance market, if uncertainty surrounding healthcare continues.