Meanwhile, back at health care. Another bad Trump idea and a looming lawsuit | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meanwhile, back at health care. Another bad Trump idea and a looming lawsuit

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 8:08 AM

HE SAID WHAT?: Chief of Staff John Kelly's expressions said a lot during Donald Trump's defense of white supremacists yesterday. Compelling as that story is, what Trump has in mind on health care could hold graver long-term consequences.
  • HE SAID WHAT?: Chief of Staff John Kelly's expressions said a lot during Donald Trump's defense of white supremacists yesterday. Compelling as that story is, what Trump has in mind on health care could hold graver long-term consequences.
Donald Trump's defense of white supremacists naturally has commanded media attention, but let's not lose sight of the other ways he's intent on damaging the interests of U.S. citizens. From the New York Times today:

Premiums for the most popular health insurance plans would shoot up 20 percent next year, and federal budget deficits would increase by $194 billion in the coming decade, if President Trump carried out his threat to end certain subsidies paid to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

The subsidies reimburse insurers for reducing deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket costs that low-income people pay when they visit doctors, fill prescriptions or receive care in hospitals.
Related: Gov. Asa Hutchinson's plan to throw 60,000 people off the expanded Medicaid private option system in Arkansas is being sold under the cover that most of those who lose coverage when the income qualifying level is lowered or because of work requirements will enjoy federal subsidies under the marketplace insurance program. Maybe not, if Trump has his way. (Plus, most serious analysts believe the subsidies won't be sufficient to enable the working poor thrown off coverage by Hutchinson to purchase insurance. Many, if not most, will rejoin the ranks of the uninsured.)

PS: A lawsuit is in the works in Arkansas to challenge the legality of the waivers Hutchinson is seeking to allow a reduction in health coverage for poor Arkansans. It will be filed after the Trump administration grants the waivers.

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