Obamacare subsidies at stake in Monday court hearing

Obamacare subsidies at stake in Monday court hearing

Andy Slavitt is the former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama administration and a USA TODAY editorial page columnist.

Obamacare subsidies at stake in Monday court hearing

Christopher Condeluci is a principal in CC Law & Policy and a former Senate Finance Committee Republican counsel.

But Condeluci believes the way the Obama administration implemented the ACA caused most of the current market woes, with fewer healthy people signing up for coverage, which leads to higher premiums. He attributes 30% of the blame to the Trump administration and 70% to the Obama administration.

Insurers have said somewhere between 15% and 40% of their rate increases were due to efforts to undermine the law in D.C., according to ACASignups.net.

A poll out Monday by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin found 46% of voters said Trump has a lot of the responsibility for the ACA's success or failure, while 33% said he has some responsibility. Just 21% said he bore only a little or no responsibility. Among those who voted for Trump, 71% said he gets some or a lot of the responsibility for the future success or failure of the law. More than 1,000 people were polled online May 13 to 15. They were about evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

As most state deadlines approach for insurers to announce their proposed rates and plans for 2018, if they "still don’t know what the rules will be," many will err on the side of caution, says Pennsylvania insurance commissioner Teresa Miller. "It could cause insurers to exit and individual markets to collapse."

What else affects the market:

•  Shorter open enrollment. Center for American Progress senior policy adviser Sam Berger cites the Trump administration's decision to shorten the open enrollment period for 2017 and 2018 as an example of how it is undermining the law. Condeluci points out that it was the Obama administration that first proposed the short enrollment period, and that this administration simply implemented it earlier. The plan was for the enrollment period to be shortened in 2019 — or later — when the exchanges were running smoothly, says Slavitt. Insurers prefer shorter enrollment periods as sicker people are more likely to sign up if it extends into the new year, Slavitt said.



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