Opinion: Obamacare is dead; welcome to Trumpcare

(AP)

(AP)

Humana has announced that it is withdrawing from the Obamacare individual marketplace. It will honor policies sold for 2017, but it will not offer coverage for 2018. Mark Bertolini, the CEO of insurance giant Aetna, told investors in a conference call that his company will probably do the same, as will other companies.

“We have no intention of being in the market for 2018,” Bertolini said. “Currently where we stand, we’d have to have markets worked up, prices worked up for April 2017 in order to apply, and there is no possible way that we’ll be prepared to do that given the unclear nature of where regulation’s headed.”

Since those statements, Bertolini has waffled a bit on his company’s plans, but I sure understand his predicament. The insurance industry is built upon the concept of predictability, and as Bertolini explained, companies have no way to predict what the individual market will look like a year from now, and thus no way to write policies for it. All they know is that congressional Republicans and President Trump have promised big changes between now and then, while offering no idea what those big changes might be.

To add to that uncertainty, Trump signed an executive order on his first day in office basically telling his administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act by any means at its disposal. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services immediately canceled $5 million in TV ad buys that were intended to draw the last-minute, healthier consumers that insurance companies need.

In another act of sabotage, the IRS has announced that due to Trump’s order, it will no longer require taxpayers who are filing returns to state whether they are covered by health insurance, a move that will make the tax penalty for going uncovered much more difficult to enforce. Without that tax penalty pushing healthier Americans to buy coverage, the whole financial structure of the system collapses.

In short, in the individual market at least, Obamacare is already dead. Welcome to Trumpcare.

What does that mean? It means that whatever happens from here on out, the Republicans own every bit of it.  They have created and fed this uncertainty, they have sabotaged the market, they have refused to even consider the relatively small fixes needed to update the current system. More importantly, with total control of the House, Senate and White House, they have the power and responsibility to act. By this time next year, there will be no excuse whatsoever for not having their “better way” up and running so voters can render judgment in the 2018 midterms.

And they won’t. The GOP Congress promised to show us a replacement plan by Jan. 27; they can’t even agree among themselves on how to begin. More than a month ago, Trump claimed that his transition team was close to completing its own plan, and would announce it as soon as the Senate confirmed U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia as secretary of Health and Human Services.

“We’re going to be submitting — as soon as our secretary’s approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan. It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially simultaneously,” Trump said. “Probably the same day, could be the same hour.”

Price was confirmed at 2 a.m. back on Feb, 10, but there’s still not the slightest hint that a Trump plan exists or is even being drafted. They are caught in a funhouse mirror of their own devising, with no idea which way to turn or where the exit might be, and panic is beginning to set in.

 

Reader Comments 1

2217 comments
MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

It may be harder to be rid of this abominable old woman, than it is to rid a Harlem air shaft of c-ockroaches.

MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

Trump's bowing and spreading his butt cheeks for Israhell, so why still all the hate?  Here's a thought:  next time you braindead, wilted stinkweeds can't afford treatment for your herpes lesions or gonorrhea, blame it on the maggot state of Israel and the billions--trillions if you include costs of all the war--they've stolen to fund their sick dreams.  It has been estimated that israel owes _each_ American man, woman and child, over $40k!  All we get out of the deal is debt, a world that hates us, and a toilet full of worthless, sellout politicians who put their own power and Israel above the United States.   Could  you use that $40k?

JKToole
JKToole

@MotocrossSurvivor @JKToole Do us all a favor, if you have the balls: link to where you read all your nonsense: internet, books, periodicals (you do know what they are?)

I have evaded nothing. I say you spew lies, nonsense, unsubstantiated b#llshit. Same lies that have been repeated ad nauseum since 1942, Trash.

MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

@JKToole @MotocrossSurvivor You have evaded every fact I have rammed down your throat.  You have evaded explaining why over 50% of Jews are atheist, while claiming that Jews make up a religion, not a race.  You have denied the fact of race-based diseases (Tay Sach's and others such as PRV) that are more common in Jews, along with various mental disorders.  You have evaded the fact that Israel is no ally to the US, but an enormous criminal liability, while offering nothing in the way of response other than giving the usual Zionazi blather responses.  You of course have also failed to prove the fantastic claim of 6 million.  Most people are more interested in the other 50 million who died in WWII, not to mention the tens of million Russians who died under the Bolsheviks. 

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

So Donnie Boy is heading to Florida this weekend for a big sweaty redneck hug from his peeps. What is this accomplishing? He already had his Deplorables at "grab them by the kitty."

We need a President with a spine who can take the criticisms that come with the job and can get something accomplished for the good of this country.

What we do not need is an incredibly fragile ego constantly seeking approval. So Donnie, you did not get the needed love from your parents and are now lashing out as a 70-year-old. 

Get over it or get out of the way.

rimsky
rimsky

Can we all agree on a universal set of facts.

++++

Mr McG yesterday I put up a video where a bunch of Republican supporters were saying they get their news 1.  Breitbart 2.  Twitter 3 face book.  How can you have a sensible debate with people like that.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@honested @rimsky News "outlets" that spin their "facts" to meet their "spin" objectives.  Nice try, though.  Thanks for playing.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@rimsky


We can continue convo in next post. But with yesterdays press conf. the divide about what is fact is increasing.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Surelyyoujest @honested @rimsky 

If they do that, then they aren't really connected with NEWS. News articles report objective facts, not opinions.


And I say that as a former high school newspaper editor who learned the principles of good journalism from Miss Hunter, so please do not suggest otherwise!!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

There were only two on-line media that, IMO, could be trusted to not spin stories....The Hill and the Associated Press.  Now, I'm down to only one...The Hill.  sigh

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany

You think they DIDN'T have a draft memo from the administration?

You're thinking that considering ways for Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to deport all illegals didn't happen?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@DownInAlbany

Behind any "spin", there's always a truth or two.  I always find it easier to deal with obvious spin because I then know how to unwind the story to get the facts correct.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Seems we all want a rational debate and dialogue. But its hard when each side have their own set of facts.


Can we all agree on a universal set of facts.


rimsky
rimsky

@McGarnagle Keep dreaming.  It is like two parallel tracks running in opposite directions.

honested
honested

@McGarnagle 

And the so-called president can change his 'facts' twice in a sentence.

honested
honested

@Surelyyoujest @honested @McGarnagle 

It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that the man modifies his interpretation of reality every time he opens his mouth. 

One need look no further than the 4 clearly identifiable examples of such behavior in yesterday's 'press conference/call for help".

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@McGarnagle I t should be an easy enough thing


But one side is looking at breitbart etc and thinks that stuff is true


So what can we do ?

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

@honested Nobody said he was correct, only that facts cannot be changed, or was that over your head?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@rimsky Christie and meatloaf are old pals.


I dont think he had to have his arm twisted for long.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

No new sheetz yet. I figured Bookman having a field day with yesterdays press conference. 

rimsky
rimsky

@McGarnagle I am  still laughing from the banter from the BBC fella.  

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@McGarnagle  There was plenty of material to choose from.  I laughed until I cried watching some of it last night.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

How often I have written that Trump thinks in stereotypes, and that thinking in stereotypes is dangerous for anyone to indulge in, much more so the President of the U S. I pray for us all.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Brosephus @Paul42 

"Oh, you're from Georgia?  I know someone in Georgia!  Ever met a guy name Ralph?  He lives in Atlanta!  Maybe you know him!" 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@honested

It seems that he doesn't give a crap about anyone who doesn't sing about his greatness on a regular basis.  I doubt melanin content, or any other factor, comes into play. 

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany

Yeah, I had the same reaction to Monty Python and the Three Stooges, too.

Paul42
Paul42

@rimsky

I'm still trying to get my head around Trump's asking a black reporter if the Congressional Black Caucus 'are friends of yours?" and telling her to set up a meeting.

And having contributors to this blog ask 'So?"

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Paul42

Well, when you incorrectly assume that we're a monolithic group that's incapable of individual thought or action, then you wind up assuming that we all know each other and are all best pals.