CBO: Trump's Health Strategy Would Hike Costs 20% in 2018

If president stops ObamaCare subsidies, premiums will rise dramatically for 'silver' plan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2017 6:33 AM CDT
If Trump Stops ObamaCare Payments, Costs Will Rise: CBO
In this July 24, 2017, file photo, President Trump speaks about health care at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

People buying individual health-care policies would face higher premiums, and some may be left with no insurance options, if President Trump makes good on his threat to stop ObamaCare payments to insurers. That's the conclusion of a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the AP reports. More specifically, the cost of a "silver"-level insurance plan under ObamaCare would be 20% higher in 2018 and 25% higher by 2020, compared to current costs, the report notes, per NBC News. And 5% wouldn't be able to purchase insurance altogether, as companies would take away plans thanks to the "substantial uncertainty" from such a move.

The CBO report Tuesday also estimated that cutting off the payments would add $194 billion to federal deficits over a decade. That's because other subsidies would automatically increase with rising premiums, wiping out any savings. The so-called cost-sharing reduction payments reimburse insurers for subsidizing out-of-pocket costs for people with modest incomes. Trump has threatened to cut off the money, most recently after the collapse of the GOP health care bill. He says that will force Democrats to negotiate with him on health care. NBC notes that even DC Republicans are "wary" of Trump's proposal and may team up with Democrats to fund the cost-sharing payments if they can't figure out a way to repeal and replace ObamaCare. (More health care stories.)

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