Health Care

ObamaCare Is Still Obama's

While Trump made some welcome changes to the law, its failure still belongs with one party: Democrats.

Robin Smith · Oct. 17, 2017

It’s been said that since ObamaCare became law, the U.S. government is now a health insurance company that fields a military. Sadly, that’s not far off the mark and is an affront to those who understand the Constitution and personal liberty.

Pitifully, a growing population turns first to the government to solve their problems, such as health insurance coverage, despite the enumerated powers laid out by the Law of the Land. Now we have a very large sector of America’s economy that is manipulated by government rules, regulation and control that standardizes inefficiencies and ineffectiveness, not to mention inflates costs.

The good news is President Donald Trump acted last week to halt illegal subsidies paid from the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies to cover their losses and, ostensibly, to keep premiums lower. Naturally, the #VeryFakeNews media has been in hyper drive to frame the narrative of the Hateful Republican President who is killing people by taking away their health care through the wrongful use of an executive order.

Let’s apply the truth to the hyperventilating Left and the insurance companies who spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying for this failed policy, and who are now trying to cover up the need for billions in taxpayer bailouts — a.k.a. in bureaucratic-ese, cost-sharing reduction payments.

Fact: In the original “Affordable” Care Act, a risk pool of funding was created to pay insurance companies for potential losses and subsidize low-income patients. But, when the losses were totaling hundreds of millions of dollars because young, healthy individuals didn’t take the carrot/stick to pay high premiums for insurance with an enormous out-of-pocket deductible to finance the expansion of Medicaid and artificially lower premium costs for the sick, that risk pool ran dry. This explains the sky-high annual premium increases since ObamaCare took effect.

Fact: Since the risk pool was woefully inadequate to cover losses and to reimburse commercial insurance companies for the mandated low-cost premiums for some, Barack Obama made an appropriation request of the Congress that was not approved. In response, he used his pen to do it anyway — an action deemed illegal by DC district court in 2016. The ruling came after a 2014 lawsuit filed by the House challenging the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments as lacking a specific, legal appropriation.

With his phone and his pen, Obama, the once-constitutional lecturer, overstepped the Constitution’s declaration that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law…” The Appropriations Clause, as he should know, enumerates the power of the purse to lie in Congress, not by an imperial attempting to salvage his signature legislation.

Fact: These cost-sharing reduction payments, being illegal, were rightfully halted by President Trump with the issue returned to Congress to address. So, despite the dripping hatred from leftists who cannot get over the loss of their coroneted queen, Trump acted in a constitutional manner to correct a wrong.

Relentless in their aim, the Left parrots false statements to grip the GOP with fear. That includes the usual Democrat/media claims that Republicans hate poor people and are trying to kill them just as the November 1st sign-ups begin for ObamaCare coverage in 2018.

Again, the antidote to a plague of lies is a big dose of truth with the disinfectant of sunshine.

In news accounts that began seeping into the public back in the summer as insurance companies were making premium cost projections, the “uncertainty” of the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments pushed some state insurance regulators to have commercial insurers include in their projected premium cost increases the absence of these subsidies or at least submit two projections — one with the CSR one without.

So, another fact: According to the American Academy of Actuaries July publication, attributed to next year’s premium costs much of the requested increases already made this year. Get that? States like Tennessee approved premium increases this summer to account for the elimination of the CSR payments.

But here’s the part that really disrupts the narrative of folks like those who penned the Oct. 12 Bloomberg editorial, “Trump’s Healthcare Wrecking Ball.” The hypoxic-inducing tantrums that Trump’s move will hurt the poor by shifting costs to the sickest patients, while schizophrenically declaring in the same article that the healthy subsidize the sick, are simply false.

Back to the July American Academy of Actuaries, which notes, “Although those who receive premium subsidies would be insulated from the full increase in premiums, nonsubsidized enrollees would face the full increase, potentially affecting their enrollment behavior and therefore the morbidity of the risk pool” if the CSR payments were to be eliminated.

While President Trump eliminated the illegal payments from the U.S. Treasury to insurance companies, the law still demands that insurance companies offer lower premiums based on income. So, by law, insurance companies must keep prices artificially low for some with the nonsubsidized enrollees paying full price. Again, according to the Actuaries, those forced into buying government-sanctioned insurance with no subsidies “would face the full increase.”

Let’s sum this up. A law empowering government to control health insurance is failed policy and law. Using taxpayer money to make illegal payments to private insurance companies to correct flaws in the law has rightfully been halted with the issue returned to Congress for action. Failing ObamaCare is still in place despite more than seven years of GOP promises to repeal and replace the law, and despite the president’s smart moves to inject free-market, consumer-driven controls into the health insurance market.

ObamaCare should now be called ObamaScare considering the frightful tactics of the Left to attempt to affix wrongful blame. But notwithstanding attempts to hang it around Republican necks, this law will forever be the dud prize of Obama and Democrats. It’s now up to Republicans to restore the order of a constitutional government and work with a president whose agenda is overwhelmingly supported by Americans to replace a failed law with effective policy.

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