In what Donald Trump has admitted was a blatant attempt to sabotage Obamacare trying to blackmail Democrats into “helping him fix it,” the White House announced that it’s going to end subsidies for the health care law.
The so-called “master negotiator,” as he likes to portray himself, seems to believe that if he ruins the law enough, it will force Democrats to come running to him to help him fix it.
Except, that’s not what’s going to happen.
In his spiteful desperation to get anything accomplished, he’s let his ego blind him to the fact that, because he’s decided to end these subsidies, millions of Americans are now going to lose health insurance (especially the poor and middle class), or will end up paying much more for it — and it’s all going to be because of him.
When premiums spike — and they’re definitely going to — the story isn’t going to be “Obamacare is causing premiums to spike for millions of Americans,” it’s going to be “Trump’s executive order ending subsidies leads to millions of Americans paying much more for health insurance.”
It’s not just going to be Democrats out there making sure everyone knows their increase in premiums is linked to the ending of these subsidies. The health insurance companies are going to make sure that their customers know the drastic spike they’re about to see isn’t their fault, but the fault of the White House that just screwed them over by ending the help they were getting to pay their premiums.
And this isn’t just going to impact the people who received these subsidies. Because this unhinged buffoon waited until after companies had already set their 2018 premiums, the entire industry has been thrown into total chaos. Health insurance companies now stand to lose billions of dollars in lost revenue as people either drop their insurance because they’re no longer able to pay for it, or default on payments after they realize the costs are too high.
Though that’s just part of it.
When it ultimately comes down to who does or doesn’t continue to find ways to pay for their much higher premiums, odds are healthier people will drop their insurance if it becomes too expensive, while those whose health isn’t as good (aka higher risk people with serious health issues) are going to be the ones who desperately try to hold on to their coverage. That means health insurance companies are still going to be paying out for higher risk patients while taking in less money as healthier Americans drop their coverage.
Then next year when these companies set their premiums, to make up the money they’re going to lose this year (and I promise you they will make that money back) they’re almost certainly going to drastically increase rates for everyone.
Let’s also not ignore the reality that as millions of Americans see drastic spikes in health insurance, that’s going to give them less extra money to spend. Seeing as consumer spending is the driving force behind our economy, that’s going to ripple out and hurt everyone from small businesses, to Uber drivers, to large corporations.
Then there’s the political issues Trump’s going to face as local and state Republican lawmakers, the people who really have to face American voters, are going to be the ones forced to answer to their constituents about why the “president” from their party ended their subsidies, causing their premiums to skyrocket. Seeing as there’s no other “logical” explanation for Trump doing this other than out of spite hoping to sabotage the law, for the very first time, many Republican voters are going to see, firsthand, how much they benefited from Obamacare.
Trust me when I say that the last thing Trump wants are other Republicans calling him out for ending these subsidies, especially at the state level where local news coverage can have a huge impact on voters.
Furthermore, there’s the main reason why the GOP’s repeated attempts to “repeal and replace Obamacare” have failed in the first place: too many of their voters benefit from the law.
Republicans knew if they simply repealed the law, the political backlash they’d face from their own voters would be swift and harsh. Only now Trump’s taken it upon himself to ensure that backlash comes. Except now they can’t blame the law, because these spikes in premiums for millions of Americans will be tied to one thing — Trump ending Obamacare’s subsidies.
All Trump’s incompetence has done is the one thing Republicans were trying to avoid: having their voters finally realize the benefits they were receiving from Obamacare. When essential benefits are no longer offered, at least not on plans that are affordable, and subsidies no long exist, causing premiums to drastically increase, Republicans can’t blame Obamacare — the law that provided those benefits — the only person they’ll have to blame is Trump.
There’s no need for Democrats to “work with him” to fix Obamacare now. Trump’s already essentially ruined it by signing these executive orders aimed at undermining the law. Now all Democrats really need to do is sit back and wait for millions of Americans, many of whom voted for Trump, to experience, firsthand, how much they benefited from Obamacare and how screwed they now are because of the actions taken by Trump.
With midterms right around the corner, Trump just screwed over millions of Americans for absolutely no other reason than the fact that his ego can’t stand that long after Barack Obama’s been out of office, he’s still beating him. No matter how many hissy fits he’s thrown and threats he’s made, he couldn’t bully Congress into repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Going forward, when people talk about the issues with the Affordable Care Act, they’re not going to be talking about the law, itself, but what Donald Trump’s done to sabotage it.
His ignorance has also forced members of his own party, many of whom are heading into elections next year, to now answer the question: Why did Trump end these subsides from which mostly poor and middle class Americans benefited?
That is a question that has absolutely no rational or logical answer.
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