Editor’s Note: GOP now owns Obamacare
Republicans should have seen this coming.
After years of soaring Obamacare premiums and shrinking participation in its exchanges by insurance companies, suddenly the blame for both belongs to the GOP.
The spin since the failure by the Republican-controlled Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is that the uncertainty created will lead to higher prices and fewer options. In other words, more of what we’ve seen every year since President Barack Obama signed the bill in 2010.
Doomsayers specifically cite the lack of assurance from the Trump administration that it will continue to pay $7 billion in illegal subsidies to insurance companies and policyholders.
The subsidies were not included in the Affordable Care Act’s authorizing legislation, nor were they ever appropriated by Congress. They were put in place by an Obama administration IRS rule change.
A federal court last year ruled the subsidies unconstitutional, but they’ve continued to be paid pending settlement negotiations.
Without them, premiums will likely rise even higher. But no one should believe that modest increases were ahead. Even if the subsidies continue, double-digit increases are certain, as is the ongoing desertion of Obamacare by insurers. It just doesn’t work.
Yet the fault now falls on President Donald Trump and the Republicans, instead of on Obamacare’s namesake and the Democrats who foisted this abomination on the American people.
Republicans who refused to support any of the repeal and replace offerings out of fear of voter backlash should have anticipated they would bear responsibility for Obamacare’s collapse no matter how they voted.