Trump One Step Closer to Finally Destroying Obamacare
It’s finally happening.
The Trump administration is one step closer to finally destroying Obamacare by freezing payments under a program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses.
In a weekend announcement, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed that the move was necessary due to a February ruling by a federal court in New Mexico. The ruling found that the federal government was using an inaccurate formula for allocating the payments. The decision “prevents CMS from making further collections or payments under the risk adjustment program, including amounts for the 2017 benefit year, until the litigation is resolved.”
According to Bloomberg, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also said that the court’s ruling prevents the agency from collecting or making payments under the current methodology, which uses a statewide average premium.
The so-called “risk adjustment” program takes payments from insurers with healthier customers and redistributes that money to companies with sicker enrollees.
The idea behind the program is to remove the financial incentive for insurers to “cherry pick” healthier customers. The government uses a similar approach with Medicare private insurance plans and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Rumors that the Trump administration would freeze payments were circulating late last week.
The administration argued in its announcement that its hands were tied by conflicting court rulings in New Mexico and Massachusetts.
This should pave the way for the end of “Obamacare” and allow Trump to replace it with a much better health plan.
The White House and the Republican-led Congress have taken a series of steps to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Among them:
— Repealing, effective next year, an unpopular requirement that most people carry health insurance, or risk fines.
— Eliminating another set of payments to insurers, which covered discounts that the companies are required to provide low-income people on their copayments and deductibles.
— Clearing the way for low-cost insurance plans that cover less and may siphon healthier customers away from ACA plans.
What is your opinion of Trump’s latest move to dismantle Obamacare? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.