It is imperative that Congress work to fix Obamacare given Trump’s determination to see it fail. While it wasn’t repealed it can be destroyed from within by the removal of the federal subsidies, not enforcing the regulation that those with pre-existing coverage be covered and the lack clarity as to how far Trump will go to make it fail.
According to The Washington Post,
As it is, the uncertainty around the payments has already done a good deal of damage. The American Academy of Actuaries recently noted that this uncertainty has already led insurers to price in the possibility of them disappearing as they set their premiums, and some insurers have openly blamed the Trump administration for their own premium hikes. At the same time, administration officials have dishonestly and reprehensively cited the partial results of their own sabotage — destabilized markets harming people — to make the case for the GOP health bill. Trump’s tweet today suggests he may continue with this, only with a different goal: Getting Democrats to “scream death.”
One Democrat, however, has stepped up and is proposing a new idea. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii has come up with a plan that will allow people to ‘buy-in’ to Medicaid.
According to Vox News,
Schatz’s bill would give all states the option of opening up their Medicaid programs to uninsured Americans who wish to purchase coverage. It would be similar, functionally, to how states currently have the option under Obamacare to expand their program to all Americans making less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line (about $15,000 for an individual).
It would preserve Medicaid as is for the low-income Americans who already are enrolled on the program. But it would let those who are currently too high-income to qualify pay a premium to join the program. Those who qualify for Affordable Care Act tax credits would be able to use the subsidies to buy into the Medicaid program, just as they do right now to buy private coverage on the marketplace. That would make Medicaid into the Affordable Care Act’s public option, creating another insurance plan in markets with few or no private plans and putting private payers in competition with the much cheaper Medicaid system.
How will the Democratic Party respond? Well, that remains to be seen, but there is a lot about Schatz’s proposal that will make many people happy.