Trump Pushes For More Affordable Health Insurance Choices, And Dems Freak? | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Health Care: President Trump has taken three important steps that will help make health care more affordable for millions by injecting more choice and competition into the insurance market. The response from Democrats is illuminating.

X In a series of proposed regulatory changes, Trump aims to give consumers options that Democrats want to deny them — options for less expensive insurance that best suits their own health care and financial needs.

One would remove an Obama-era regulation that was designed to thwart the increasingly popular market for “short-term” insurance plans. These plans didn’t comply with ObamaCare’s myriad rules and regulations, which meant they could provide benefits at lower rates.

In ObamaCare’s first year, eHealth reported that sales of short-term insurance offered on its website shot up 134%. Others reported similar surges. These plans continued to surge as ObamaCare premium increases skyrocketed. Middle-class families that aren’t eligible for ObamaCare subsidies — of which there are millions — could save hundreds of dollars a month on insurance, even though they still had to pay the ObamaCare tax penalty.

So, what did the Obama administration do? It issued a rule in October 2016 that limited these plans to three months, rather than the nearly 12 months they had been offering. The rule was specifically designed to force these people back into the ObamaCare exchanges.

As Health and Human Services put it at the time: “The proposed changes will help strengthen the (ObamaCare) risk pool by ensuring that short-term limited duration plans are used only as intended, to fill truly temporary gaps in coverage.”

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In other words, in a desperate attempt to shore up the failing ObamaCare exchanges, President “Keep-Your-Plan” Obama decided to take away yet another health plan that people liked.

But the rule change wasn’t announced until mid-2016, and didn’t go into effect until last year. Which means that all Trump proposed was to return to the ObamaCare status quo that had been in effect for three years.

The other change Trump proposed was to ease rules that were preventing small businesses and other groups from banding together to offer insurance through multistate “association health plans.” The idea is to give small businesses the ability to get group rates comparable to those enjoyed by large multistate employers.

Late last week, the Labor Department announced its proposal to make this a reality, saying it could make coverage more affordable for 11 million people who work for small businesses or are self-employed and don’t have insurance.

“By joining together,” the Labor Department said, “employers may reduce administrative costs through economies of scale, strengthen their bargaining position to obtain more favorable deals, enhance their ability to self-insure and offer a wider array of insurance options.”

Trump also signed the GOP tax plan, which repeals the much hated ObamaCare tax penalty, making those short-term plans even more affordable.

Democrats reacted to these changes with shock and horror, saying they were little more than Trump’s way of destroying ObamaCare after he couldn’t get it repealed outright.

It’s true that these changes won’t make ObamaCare more stable, but ObamaCare was failing long before Trump entered the White House. The question Democrats should have to answer is why are they intent on denying people affordable options in the meantime?

What this debate really exposes is the two widely divergent views on health care. While Republicans want choice and competition to drive down costs and improve quality, Democrats want to deny consumers choices and force them into government-run insurance plans — with the ultimate goal being single payer.

We’ve seen firsthand how well the Democrats’ vision for health care works. It’s produced skyrocketing premiums, forced millions of people off health plans they liked and sharply raised taxes.

Trump deserves credit for taking what steps he can to push the market in the other direction.


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Originally posted 2018-01-10 23:33:49.


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