President Donald Trump laid the blame at Democrats’ feet for an increase in the cost of health insurance premiums on the Obamacare markets on Tuesday.
Trump’s comments come less than a week after he made a move that insurance companies already attributed to rising premiums.
“Any increase in ObamaCare premiums is the fault of the Democrats for giving us a ‘product’ that never had a chance of working,” Trump tweeted.
The tweets follow Trump’s move on Friday to stop the cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments, which help defray the cost to insurers for providing low-income Americans plans with cheaper out-of-pocket costs.
Various insurers have said that without the CSR payments, they are forced to increase premiums on the Obamacare exchanges to make up for the funding drop. According to the Congressional Budget Office, premiums will likely increase around 20% for 2018 due to the end of CSRs.
In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance said Monday insurers would have to increase Obamacare premiums more than four times the amount they originally proposed due to Trump’s discontinuation of the CSR payments.
Most of this cost will not fall on consumers, however, as a large majority of Obamacare marketplace enrollees receive subsidies to help with premiums. Instead, most of the burden will fall on the federal government. The CBO estimated the federal deficit will increase by $US194 billion over 10 years without CSR payments due to the increase subsides.
The tweet also comes just hours after Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, a Republican and Democrat respectively, came to an agreement on an Obamacare stabilisation package that included funding the CSR payments through 2019.
At a press conference Tuesday, Trump indicated his support for the plan.
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