Trump tweets: Let Obamacare fail

As support for a Senate health bill collapsed, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday he wants to let the Affordable Care Act fail, an act consumer groups warned would trigger a financial, medical and public health crisis for millions in Florida and other states.

“As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan,” Trump tweeted. “Stay tuned!”

Talk in the Senate has turned back to simply repealing Obamacare to take effect in two years, buying time to reach agreement on what to put in its place. That’s similar to legislation that passed in 2015 and was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama.

It appeared doubtful by Tuesday afternoon even the repeal plan can get enough votes to pass either. This isn’t 2015 with a sure veto waiting. It’s the majority party’s decision with 2018 elections over the horizon. The Congressional Budget Office forecast the consequences  of repeal with no clear replacement could include the collapse of the individual market, premiums rising and up to 18 million people losing or choosing to drop coverage in one year.

Trump has threatened threatened to withhold billions of dollars that lower consumer costs by calling these as insurer “bailouts,” though they have been part of the ACA marketplace from the start.

“President Trump, from all indications, is ready and willing to allow the continued sabotage of the existing law in order to make his self-fulfilling hope of Obamacare failure a reality,”  advocacy group Florida CHAIN (Community Health Action Information Network) said in a statement.

Another consideration: Jobs. Florida would lose 181,000 jobs by 2019 under repeal, part of 2.6 million nationwide, an analysis by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health found.

“This path to repeal is just as dangerous as the Senate’s replacement plan,” said Betsy Imholz, special projects director for Consumers Union. “The uncertainty created by Congress has scared off insurers, hurting the marketplace and consumers in real time. A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act without any replacement plan would trigger a financial, medical, and public health crisis.”

She continued, “By simply repealing the ACA and abdicating their responsibility to consumers, Senators would be causing the same problems they had with their replacement plan — millions uninsured, skyrocketing premiums, market instability and no protections for those with preexisting conditions are only the beginning of these disastrous consequences.”

Florida has plenty at stake. It leads all states using the federal health marketplace with about 1.5 million customers, and has 4 million served by Medicaid. Millions more Floridians in employer plans could also be potentially affected by repealing ACA rules, such as banning insurers from imposing annual and lifetime caps on benefits, requiring essential benefits like emergency, drug and maternity coverage, and other provisions.

Trump said in another tweet, “We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans. Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard. We will return!”

Reader Comments 0

0 comments