"President Trump aims to strike down parts of Obamacare with new executive order
By MERIDITH MCGRAW,. MARYALICE PARKS
Oct 12, 2017, 11:49 AM ET
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday at the White House that seeks to increase consumer options for health insurance, but could further destabilize Obamacare marketplaces.
With the “power of the pen,” Trump's executive order seeks to unravel significant parts of insurance rules under the Affordable Care Act by directing federal agencies to consider new rules. The order, through a series of rule recommendations to be carried out by Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor and the Treasury Department, aims to get those agencies to expand association health plans, short term limited duration plans and makes recommendations for changes to health reimbursement arrangements.
The president said during the signing that he is "taking the first step to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief."
The American people "will have so many options," he said. "This will cost the United States government virtually nothing, and people will have great, great health care. And when I say people, I mean by the millions and millions."
Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who joined the president in the Roosevelt Room for the signing, have long been proponents of expanding association health plans, which allow small employers to band together to buy health insurance.
The Trump administration says it will direct the Department of Labor to give small employers access to insurance options at lower rates in the large employer markets.
But large employer plans are not subject to some of the requirements under the Affordable Care Act. So, while people may be able to access lower cost health insurance, consumers might not be provided some essential benefits such as maternity care.
The White House stressed on an earlier briefing call with reporters that, at this time, there would not be changes to the required minimum coverage standards, but questions remain over whether or not self-employed individuals could join association health plans.
Critics have warned that these plans could potentially move large groups of young, healthy people out of insurance markets leaving sick people in high risk pools, subject to higher premiums.
Trump also said he is asking Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to consider ways to allow association health plans to sell plans across state lines.
Currently there are provisions under the ACA that allow plans to be sold across state lines as long as they comply with consumer protection and licensing laws.
But the challenge is that insurance companies aren’t mandated to sell across state lines -— and many simply don’t want to. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners warned that consumers have not been interested in the plans calling it a ‘red herring’ that consumers would benefit.
The order could also lengthen the amount of time short-term limited duration plans can offer coverage from three months to up to a year.
Typically people who buy these plans are people between jobs, people who missed the enrollment period but want health insurance, and young people no longer covered by their parents. The plans are typically cheap, offer fewer benefits and still require people to pay the individual mandate -- a tax penalty for not being fully covered.
Experts warn that it’s unlikely Trump’s executive order will have much of an effect in the coming year as it will take time for these different rules to be put into place. But the executive order could have a big impact on the insurance marketplace, which is already unstable.
“I think undermining the ACA marketplace is a feature, rather than a bug of this order,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told ABC News.
Conservatives say the executive order is a welcome first step toward helping out individuals facing premium hikes in the individual insurance markets. Still it could receive push back from some on the right who would still like to see an Obamacare "repeal and replace" accomplished, a key campaign promise for Republicans in 2016.
“No one should think that one administrative change will resolve all of the problems that have currently affect individual and small group markets under the ACA. The ACA has severely damaged both markets and this is going to take a legislative remedy eventually,” said Bob Moffitt at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
Others see the steps as incremental.
"I don't see this as having a big impact on anything, if any," said Joe Antos, health care expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
Still, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the small business lobby, said they're "grateful" for Trump's work to address regulations.
"In the wake of the Senate’s failure to repeal Obamacare, we are grateful to President Trump for addressing regulations that make it harder and costlier for small business owners to provide healthcare for themselves and their employees," the organization's president, Juanita Duggan, said in a statement. "The cost of health care has been the number-one problem for small businesses for more than 30 years."
Critics contend this is the latest attempt to “sabotage” Obamacare and it could end up causing even more confusion for the public before enrollment in the ACA begins on November 1.
“Angry that Congress wouldn’t repeal the health care Americans depend on, President Trump is purposely trying to sabotage the law by creating garbage insurance which will undermine the market, raise premiums, reduce coverage and expose millions of Americans again to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions,” Brad Woodhouse, campaign director for Protect Our Care and former DNC communications director, said in a statement."
Gray Ghost's Link
There's nothing to it. Just a bunch of vague instructs, like "provide greater flexibility" under the veil of "To the maximum extent permitted by law". I don't see a single specific in it.
This EO is not very specific but that's common. What's key is the intent behind the EO.
Moreover, the left is freaking out on this, so you know they are as upset as I am upbeat on it.
January 20th? Am I confused?
Hopefully it will be followed up and implemented soon!
January 20th, lol. CNN scores more "Fake News" points !
Matt's got the WRONG EO!!!!!!
Trump did issue an EO on ObamaCare in January, but this one is in no way the same EO! This EO came out today!
I do like the idea of Interstate Commerce, but I have to wonder what that will do to rates for the ACA pool, if people flood to the new plans.
It seems to scratch at the scab, instead of heal it.
I saw the same things you did when I first 'Bing'd' for it. Then I noticed the January date and realized those links were for the wrong EO.
B. The government has no business in telling you who you can and who you cannot buy products from.
C. The government also has no business in telling you you MUST include features which you neither need nor want in those products!
However, he's not going to figure it out because it's too complex for him and he has no idea how to handle anything that he can't Tweet about.
Does that mean Trump has a 140 character attention span? I tend to agree.
B. The government has no business in telling you who you can and who you cannot buy products from.
C. The government also has no business in telling you you MUST include features which you neither need nor want in those products"!
Kyle, I would go as far as to substitute the words "Insurance Companies" and/or "Employers" in the place of the word "Government"...
"Kyle, I would go as far as to substitute the words "Insurance Companies" and/or "Employers" in the place of the word "Government"... "
Then you would be wrong.
More than wrong, actually.
No insurance company can REQUIRE you to purchase any of their offerings.
Employers do have control of what your health insurance plan choices may be, but they cannot require you to opt in. But a great a employer with a great plan would offer you options re. which benefits you wanted and which benefits you did not want.
Markets can and will price for those things if given the chance and seeing the demand.
God bless, Steve
What I was driving at, was the fact that Insurance Companies have "pigeonholed" Employers and Consumers by only offering "All or nothing" coverage.
Medicare sets the stage, and Private Insurance takes their lead, and goes "above and beyond" in many cases. Same thing happens with Pharmaceuticals. As Medicare coverage amounts scale up for drugs, Big Pharma Companies bump their prices, waiting for Medicare to make another increase...vicious cycle!
What's missing is competition, and scalable Insurance plans. Like any other consumer product, there should be a multitude of choices. I want the option to buy only what I need.
I'm hoping that's where Trump/ Rand Paul et al is going with this framework. I know they have both indicated something to this effect.
Blame the Dems. That's where the problem is. Obamacare is their baby.
Today Trump cancelled ObamaCare subsidies to Insurers, effective immediately.
From Hot Air:
"Trump On ObamaCare Insurer Subsidies: Guess What? We Checked The Budget And The Constitution, And ......
ED MORRISSEY, October 13, 2017
Surprise! It turns out that Congress didn’t fund direct subsidy payments to health insurers. Actually, it’s not much of a surprise, not even to the Trump administration, which has chosen to make those payments anyway … until now. The White House announced last night, and Donald Trump confirmed this morning, that those payments will stop immediately, which will almost immediately create even more instability in the ObamaCare exchanges:
A White House statement said based on guidance from the Justice Department, “the "Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare.”
“In light of this analysis, the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments,” the statement said.""
What's the over/under on the number of days it will take until it completely implodes?
You Smart boys should invest in Caskets this will not End Well!!!
If you are in 4 rth Grade!!!!! HAHAWAHAWHAWAAAHA!!!!!
If given the chance, the market will offer unlimited choices and at a far lower cost than any government designed and run plan could even dream of.
Next, anyone who has ZERO understanding of free markets, which is YOU, is a blitering idiot and even less credible.
I refuse to read ANYTHING which a blithering idiot, re. YOU, sends in an unreadable form.
What an effing a-hole you are!
It's not Trump's fault that these funds were never legally appropriated. Obama made his accomplishments as a sand castle of EOs and the tides of time are merely washing them away.
Someday, in the distant future, some little proregressive piss-ant may be in a position to do the same to Trump's EO, but in the meantime, money will not be spent inappropriately and the possibility that Congress may actually pass legislation that restores these funds.
Trump, by disassembling Obama's EOs made to prop up Obamacare has increased pressure on both the Democrats and the eGOP to actually address this issue.
BTW: far too many improperly use the term "health insurance" when talking about health care. That's another thread.
Everyone go out into your respective corners of the state of your residence and let the villages know we've found their idiot.......
FYI for the general trolling public; if you want to provoke try not to be comical; it really does defeat the purpose you know........lol........
Liar. You didn't write it. Cut n Paste without attribution. You, are a L-I-A-R.
"Please advise me as to my 'lack of understanding of free markets"
I think people would have a better chance of teaching a deaf, dumb, blind monkey how to juggle chainsaws. Yeah, you're that ****ing clueless.
It isn't a case of being merely clueless but having an equivalent lack of character, morals and principles.
Ironically the signposts of that affliction are readily apparent; the continued sinking into irrelevance of the Democrat party......so by all means cretins, continue to display your ignorance and lack of the above at every opportunity.
the audacity to change a few pronouns and adverbs to make it your own??
what steaming piles all 35 of you are
For some people the concept of original thought is just and only that-a concept. Original thought equates to taking a stand and that takes principles. Original thought invests a piece of oneself into the discussion; that requires courage.
When you see people with neither of those attributes you get regurgitation; no risk, no skin in the game; the coward's way out.
No surprise, just continued and complete disdain.
i'd love to see the briarcliff schitz, the cannabis bros, the old hippie lawya, the dirty energy apologist and all the other (4) good libs on this site draw a line, set a limit, on something, anything other than that which they despise
I'll take a Ruger Red Label then, 20 gauge. After all, I have a RIGHT to it.
When you see people with neither of those attributes you get regurgitation; no risk, no skin in the game; the coward's way out."
I must say, this is one of the most thought provoking posts I've seen on the CF in a very long time. If reading this doesn't cause a good deal of introspection in all of us, nothing will.
Those on the left are unable to distinguish between 'wants' and 'rights.'
They foolishly (and dangerously) believe they have a right to that which they want.
You can even extend this to terrorism, why should the government even bother trying to protect us from terrorists or be concerned with national sovereignty? Why not have Americans take responsibility for the privilege of their own security?
That which requires action by one person on behalf of another cannot be a right!
Or are you saying it's OK to make another man your slave if it's for something you won't provide for yourself?
Annony Mouse's Link
You are truly dumber than anyone here could ever have imagined.
When a person buys homeowner's insurance it's a VOLUNTARY transaction wherein people VOLUNTARILY agree to share a common risk.
No one is REQUIRED to engage in that transaction.
Yes, you truly are more stupid than anyone could have imagined.
FAR more stupid!
Do you understand the difference between voluntary and compulsory?
That's how you get stupid ideas like Big Gulp prohibition, magazine restrictions and Obamacare.
The premise to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" are that a gov't cannot just take your life, freedom, or ability to prosper on a whim like they did back in the old days, nor should they ever have been able to.
The right to acquire healthcare exists, never has been a debate. The confusion exists because some believe they have the right to good healthcare at someone else's expense. I would love for someone to pay 2/3 the price of a decked out 3/4 ton diesel for me.
You want affordable healthcare, decrease the price of meds and ridiculous lawsuits that cause high malpractice premiums...
"I believe banks require you to have home owners insurance to protect their financial interests. So if you have a mtg, you must get insurance. On that note, do any of you actually know anyone without homeowners insurance? Didn't think so. So I'd call that compulsory."
If you believe that, you are just as stupid as your other alter egos are, because NO ONE is REQUIRED to take out a mortgage, you moron.
Getting a mortgage and thereby being told to obtain homeowner's insurance in order to get the mortgage is a VOLUNTARY transaction, you moron!
Oh, wait. I think we might have tried that.
How'd that work out anyway?
Come to think of it, the Affordable Care Act is to the health care industry, what the Community Reinvestment Act was to the housing industry.
Getting a mortgage and thereby being told to obtain homeowner's insurance in order to get the mortgage is a VOLUNTARY transaction, you moron!"
Exactly Kyle. The ACA is basically a "Breathing Tax". If you exist, then you must have it. No choice involved whatsoever. It's mandatory forced government theft of one person's money to fund someone else, which the politicians EXEMPTED themselves from. And it's just flat out WRONG.
BZZZT...Wrong on both accounts. Home owners insurance protects the homeowner, and it's not compulsory unless you choose to have a mortgage. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) protects the lender. And, again, it's only compulsory if you choose to have a mortgage with a high loan to value ratio.
Plenty of people choose not to have homeowners insurance. I've read that up to 4 million primary and secondary residences don't have it in the US. That may not be too smart, but it's reality.
PMI protects the lender if the barrower defaults on the loan.
Homeowners insurance protects the homeowner if there is damage done to the home by a covered risk.
PMI protects the lender if the barrower defaults on the loan.
Homeowners insurance protects the homeowner if there is damage done to the home by a covered risk.
And he's probably correct. There's a reason insurance companies are some of the most profitable companies out there. Just like a casino, the odds are stacked in their favor. If a person has the means to self-insure, in most cases he'll wind up paying out less than he would have paid in premiums over his lifetime.
Think about this. The average price paid for comprehensive car insurance is around $150 per year, depending on the type of vehicle. So, over a 70 year driving period, the average person pays $10,500 worth of premiums for one car. Now, multiple that by say 3 cars in a average household, and add to that the cost of deductibles for claims.
How many of you can say you've received more in claims than you've paid in premiums? I certainly haven't.
There are other reasons to get an insurance policy besides the immediate total loss value...
The average healthcare premium for a family (at least the plans I have had exposure to) are running around $18K per year, not including deductibles. At my previous company he was paying around $12K per year. Using that as an average over the last eighteen years, is $216K. Even with three kids, two were c-sections, a few emergency room visits, check ups, the usual stuff, I'll bet we didn't touch $50K-$60K.
Wonder if we went back to major medical health coverage, you know, where you health insurance covers "major medical" stuff and you are responsible for doctor visits, etc. if costs would drop?
That's true. That's why I was careful to use comprehensive car insurance in my example. Liability insurance is another matter. God forbid, you cause an accident that kills someone, then the cost of liability insurance suddenly doesn't look too bad.
Bowbender, your example is even better than mine.
"You can certainly get just major medical if you want,..."
See that's the thing. Everybody wants every sniffle, bruise, ache and pain covered. Not enough people are enrolled in the MM programs, so the costs are high. I think if folks had to pay the full amount every time they ran their kids to the doctors for sniffles, things might change. Slowly, but surely.
Our current insurance contribution thru my wife's work is just shy of $200 for a really good plan. There is still a large deductible to be met, the number escapes me right now. But folks look at insurance and say "My co-pay for an office visit is $15". No wonder they run to the doctors for every ailment. Doctor office visit runs about $135-160 in my area and of course participating doctors accept assignment which might be 70% of the bill.
I sure don't have the answers to fix the health insurance (not health care, insurance). JMO, but a large part of it could be solved by getting the government out of it. I can craft a homeowners policy to cover my home, firearms, jewelry and what not. What can't I do the same with healthcare? And why is it my employers responsibility to provide it? And NO, that's not me asking for a single payer system!
That's easy to say, and probably true...in retrospect. Unfortunately we don't live our lives in retrospect. Very few people start out with the ability to self insure. Some people are fortunate and they eventually get to that point. Some people are unfortunate at a young age and it takes a lifetime to dig out...if ever.
Pure insurance based on risk is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately somewhere along the way, medical insurance morphed into comprehensive health care, the government got involved, the lawyers got involved, and we went from insuring a maybe to simply financing an eventuality.
That's why I qualified my statement with "If a person has the means....".
But you don't have to be born a Trump to self-insure. And you don't have to self-insure everything. I stopped financing vehicles and began avoiding comprehensive car coverage in my 20s. Yes, I've had to pay out-of-pocket a few times, which always stings a little, but I'm still ahead in the long run.
I think my Father instilled the discipline to save money in me. He grew up thru the Great Depression and was very frugal with the modest money he made. Some might say he was a "tight wad", but I never would. ;-)
"...and we went from insuring a maybe to simply financing an eventuality."
Exactly. Major Medical covered the "maybes".
I'm a diligent saver and investor also. However, anyone's ability to self insure is completely dependent on never having a claim for more than you've saved...so far.
Most people won't really know if it worked until the end.
Can't the same thing be said about buying insurance?
It's a gamble either way, but the odds are better for insurance companies, hence their high profits.
Not really. When I pay an insurance premium, whether it's the first one or the 71st one, if I have a loss I will be covered to the maximum of the policy. So, if I only paid a thousand dollar premium and have a million dollar claim, I'm still covered.
With self insurance, you are always only "covered" up to the amount you've saved. So, if I saved my first thousand dollar premium and have a million dollar claim...I'm screwed.
With self insurance, I simply won't know until I die, whether I've saved enough.
As to the "odds" being in favor of the insurance company. I certainly hope so. If I'm relying on them for protection, I don't want the odds to be in every policy holder's favor.
As to the notion of "high profits," the health insurance industry actually ranks near the bottom compared to other industries in terms of net profit margin. Depending on the source, that margin is reported to be somewhere between 3-8%.
His insurance company paid out something like $2,000,000 in helping him fight it.
At the risk of getting too far off topic. Allow me to explain my position further. I would never advocate self-insuring anything unless you already have enough saved to cover the potential loss.
That's one reason why I used comprehensive car insurance as an example. If you purchase a $5K car, just make sure to set aside $5K for a total loss. That's very doable for a disciplined saver, IMO. Not so much for other forms of insurance, depending on the risk. Liability insurance, for example, where the risk can be millions, self-insuring isn't an option for most.
As a saver gets older and develops a larger nest egg, he can expand on the things he self-insures. Hurricane, flood, wind, or hail damage insurance for a secondary home, for example, may be worth self-insuring, depending on the value of the home and the cost of the insurance.
As for not knowing whether it worked until the end, I think it's exactly the same with paying for insurance. Per your example, if you have a million dollar claim after only paying $1000 in premiums, what do you think will happen to your premiums afterwards? I know folks whose homeowners premiums DOUBLED after filing claims in successive years. They won't know until the end whether that worked, or not.
I should have used return on equity rather than profits, earlier. The last ROE numbers I saw for health insurance was over 16%, which is quite high compared to other sectors.
For those of us that live in the real world, obamacare has muffed up healthcare as we know it beyond words. Normal, hardworking families that put those stupid SOB's in office to help this country for the better are hurting bad if they don't have good group insurance offered through an employer.
Damn you obama, pelosi, et al.
I was referring to health insurance GG. Health insurers can't raise rates on an individual basis do to a claim.
You see, actuarially, the insurance company pretty much knows what the checks are going to total...they just don't know how big each one is going to be, and who's name is going to be on them. Could be you, could be me, could be anyone that handed them a hundred dollar bill. Whoever it ends up being, I bet they think it's a pretty big value added.
Until a few years ago, I also had a large disability income insurance policy. I dropped that at the point I no longer needed it.
Other than that, I do not buy insurance as it's significantly better to self-insure for those things you can afford to cover yourself. Insurers have significant costs they incur above and beyond paying claims. I had a lot of group health and dental policies for private companies on the books for a long time. Their insurers could handle 'loss ratios' of up to 70% of premiums before they had to adjust their rates over-and-above inflation.
That means they pay out ~ seventy cents for every dollar they take in in premiums. Self-insuring means you are willing to cover your losses out of your own pocket, but it also means your pay-out = 100% of your 'premiums,' not 70%.
As a result, I do not have dental insurance, never buy trip insurance, etc.
We do not carry comprehensive or collision on our older cars, but sometimes insurance is a good policy (pun intended).
"You can certainly get just major medical if you want,..." Not like the good old days because obamacare made it practically illegal.
Or 100 TIMES your premium. You just never know.
Let's say you offered me $100 to insure an item worth $5000. And statistics showed I'm likely to only pay you back $96 over the term of our agreement. Meanwhile, I'm free to invest your $100 any way I choose and reap the rewards. I'd take that offer any day and twice on Sundays.
That's basically what insurance companies do, only they manage their risk by getting hundreds, thousands, even millions of people to do the same deal, thereby reducing their risk even further.
I'm glad to see a seasoned money manager like Kyle agrees with me on self-insuring certain things, if you can afford to do so.
And I bet Kyle would agree with me that you'd be a fool to take that on an individual basis.
It's only because they take the same deal from hundreds, thousand, or millions of individuals, that makes it viable...and sometimes even then it isn't.
Statistical probability doesn't mean much with one "insured."
We agree on the self-insurance issue, but you've missed an important item in your insurance example.
If you take in $100 and pay out $96 in claims, you are guaranteed to LOSE money, a LOT of money, because you have to cover marketing costs, overhead, commissions, legal and actuarial costs, ad nauseum, in addition to the amount of the claim.
Note, I said that our agreement was based on "statistics." That's plural.
If a reasonable sample of statistics showed that our one-man agreement would pay me a statistically probable 4% and a possible 100%, plus investment profits, I'd take it.
You pick the $5000 item you want me to insure, and the timeframe. I'll decide the cost of the premium.
Maybe this will be the launch of a new venture for me. ;-)
No thanks GG. You've moved the goal posts so many times during this discussion, I'd be leery to enter into a contract with you.
Let me know when your new venture goes public.
Because if you base your pricing on taking in $100 in premiums, paying out $96 in claims without factoring in all the other costs you will incur, I will 'short' your stock and make millions doing so!
My overhead in Kevin's deal would amount to about the same time and $$ that it costs me to down a favorite cocktail, which isn't long. ;-)
How much would like to invest?