At this moment I am watching live on Bloomberg News the opening speech by President/Party General Secretary/Chairman of the Military Commission Xi Jinping of the once-every-five-years Chinese Communist Party Congress. This is far more important than what one finds on other TV networks whether pro-Trump right now (how great his tax plan/tromping on immigrants and football players are) or anti-Trump (what is the latest gossip from the Mueller investigation and will Republicans in the Senate stand up to Trump). A major theme seems to be a reassertion of party power and discipline, with a reinvigoration of the State-Owned Enterprises, with Communist Party cells to operate in nominally private enterprises, socialism with Chinese characteristics, with a reaffirmation of the foundation based on Marxism-Leninism. Yes, he used that term.
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) “If they don’t, there will be chaos in this country and millions of Americans will be hurt.”
Twelve Republicans and 12 Democrats signed on to the bill, which would continue ObamaCare’s insurer subsidies for two years and give states more flexibility to waive ObamaCare rules.
Senator Alexander is talking about the impact of Trump canceling the CSR which pays for deducible and co-pays directly to insurance companies for the insured between 138% and 250% FPL. And no, neither the CSR or the Risk Corridor Program bailouts for insurance companies. All of these are lies and misconceptions coming from the mouths of Republicans and the President.
Here is what will happen:
– Premiums for benchmark plans sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges will rise about 20 percent next year and about 25 percent by 2020. The cost to consumers, however, would stay the same or even decline.
– People with lower incomes who buy insurance on the exchanges get a tax credit, so their costs remain stable as a share of their income. When premiums rise, those government subsidies rise as well.
– For people with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, the out-of-pocket cost of insurance would remain about the same because of the bigger tax credits.
– For those with incomes between 200 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, the cost to buy insurance could actually get cheaper. Some Gold plans may be cheaper than the Silver plans. 85 percent of people who bought Obamacare insurance got a tax credit.
Kaiser Family Foundation Vice president Larry Levitt: “The CBO analysis makes it clear. The ending cost-sharing subsidies would be a perfect example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Premiums would rise and the government would end up spending more in the end through tax credits that help people pay their premiums.”
The CBO report confirms earlier analyses, including this one by Kaiser and this one from the consulting firm Oliver Wyman suggested eliminating the cost-sharing payments could make policies cheaper for some individuals.
In the end, the elimination of the CSR may cause a deficit of $194 billion. While it may be chaotic in the beginning, the CBO assumes things will level out over a period of 2-3 years.
Giving states more control over the ACA in areas such as the 10 essential benefits would spell the end for the ACA and we would be back to garbage polices. If you are prone to do so, it would be helpful to write your sponsoring Senator and tell them you are opposed to this bill by Senator Alexander. The Democratic co-sponsors include Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Al Franken (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WVA.), Tom Carper (D-DE.), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI.), Claire McCaskill (D-MS), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).