The Trump administration, with Obamacare-hater Tom Price now ensconced at the head of Health and Human Services, is proposing a rule that they say would stabilize Obamacare markets. The proposed rules aren't exactly the draft rules leaked last week, but are easily as damaging. These new regulations would allow insurance companies to sell plans with higher deductibles and narrower networks and reduce the subsidies that low- and middle-income families get to purchase insurance. Yes, higher out-of-pocket costs and less help buying insurance. For the people that have the hardest time affording insurance and medical care.
If finalized as proposed, the rule would reduce the amount of health care that marketplace plans have to cover. That would allow individual-market insurers to offer plans with higher deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs than they can now sell through the marketplaces. It would also have the hidden impact of reducing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium tax credits, which help moderate-income marketplace consumers afford health care. As a result, the rule would force millions of families to choose between higher premiums and worse coverage. […]
The Administration argues that allowing less generous health plans, with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs but lower premiums, will give consumers more choices, draw more people into the marketplace, and, in this way, stabilize the market. But, in fact, this provision of the rule will do just the opposite.
Due to the impact on premium tax credits, it will mainly serve to make marketplace coverage more expensive for marketplace consumers. Together with other provisions of the rule, that will almost certainly result in lower enrollment and a weaker risk pool which, in turn, will weaken market stability. Moreover, the rule does nothing to dispel the main source of uncertainty and instability currently affecting the marketplace: the looming threat that congressional Republicans will repeal the ACA, without enacting a comprehensive replacement.
These elements are in some of the Republican proposals for "replacing" Obamacare because Republicans don't care if you have to bankrupt yourself and your family to have health care. But make no mistake: if these rules are approved and put in place, they will begin to erode Obamacare and its protections, and Republicans are going to own that.
If the healthcare system falls apart, point back to this moment, this rule that is supported by all of Trump's Republicans. They own the damn thing now, and they'll face the consequences.