Since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published its nonpartisan research into the effects of Trumpcare if it is signed into law, media coverage has been dominated by the horrors the CBO predicts. However, the coverage has been overlooking a key detail that the CBO unveiled: Obamacare is fixing itself.
If Trumpcare, officially known as the American Health Care Act or AHCA, passes 24 million Americans will lose insurance coverage in 10 years who would otherwise have coverage under Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act or ACA). Trumpcare will benefit the rich and burden the poor. We will all watch our premiums rise to alarming levels, but elderly Americans will see their costs skyrocket.
Despite the terrible consequences that the law will have, out-of-touch Republicans, most notably Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, are forging ahead. They claim that Obamacare is “imploding” (or as Ryan likes to say, “in a death spiral”) so something has to be done and it has to be done now.
However, the CBO’s exhaustive research found that the healthcare market shocks of 2016 were a painful one-off, not the beginning of a pattern. Insurance is not failing and the system is not about to collapse.
If Trump and Congressional Republicans just leave Obamacare alone, the markets will stabilize and the health care situation for millions of Americans will improve from what it is today.
The CBO reports that, contrary to popular opinion in conservative circles, Obamacare’s subsidy and penalty system will prove effective at keeping a balance of healthy and sick people in the insurance system – this is vital for insurance to function.
The recent rises in premiums and instances of insurers dropping out of Obamacare exchanges will not persist. As the market under the Obamacare system stabilizes, costs will drop and insurance will remain sustainable and more accessible than it used to be.
“Under current law, most subsidized enrollees purchasing health insurance coverage in the nongroup market are largely insulated from increases in premiums because their out-of-pocket payments for premiums are based on a percentage of their income; the government pays the difference. The subsidies to purchase coverage combined with the penalties paid by uninsured people stemming from the individual mandate are anticipated to cause sufficient demand for insurance by people with low health care expenditures for the market to be stable.”
Granted, Obamacare is not perfect and carefully considered tweaks would be welcome. However, that is not what Trump has in mind.
Trumpcare will decimate the benefits of Obamacare, leaving millions of poor, sick, and elderly Americans without any access to health care. It will throw markets into chaos, causing premiums to rise by 15-20% in just one year.
Obamacare’s markets are stabilizing and things are improving, but Trump’s presidency is all about creating chaos and taking down ‘the system.’ America’s neediest citizens are about to go down with it.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.