|Nothing cheers up Republicans like throwing|
people off their health care.
Photo: Doug Mills, NYTimes
This action will cause insurers to leave some Obamacare markets, causing higher premiums, among other consequences.
In a separate action on Wednesday (the signing of the Executive Order pictured to the left), Trump asked the Labor Department to loosen rules that permit small companies to band together to form associations and buy the kind of coverage available to larger businesses (that is, insurance governed by federal employment law, not state insurance regulations, which means cheap prices, poorer coverage, and denied claims).
What Trump did last night -- ending subsidy payments -- he could do because of a flaw in the language of one section of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA created the subsidies but did not clearly fund them, leaving subsidies in a weird legal pickle. Insurers are still required to offer discounts to customers who qualify. And the insurance companies may sue the administration to recoup the funds. But insurance providers will lose money in the short term, and in the long term, they'll raise their premiums to make up for the losses. That could also actually hurt higher-income customers who pay full price.
In theory, precipitously ending the subsidy payments could lead to "catastrophic market failures."
Oh whatever. It's a knee-capping of at least a fair number of Trump voters who have been turned into applauding bots when Trump attacks "Obamacare." Those voters need health insurance too, and Trump is not their friend. He is a termite, chewing at the struts that prop them up.
No law has been repealed.
But it's being pecked at by a Peckerhead who'll hurt the very people he's somehow convinced that he's some kind of genius who actually cares about them.