Commentary

What you should know about Trump’s latest disastrous action on healthcare

A statement from the North Carolina Justice Center (the parent organization of NC Policy Watch) explains today’s potentially disastrous Trump administration effort to further undermine the Affordable care Act:

Trump Executive Order Jeopardizes Health Care Affordability and Access for North Carolinians with Pre-Existing Conditions
Order will bring back junk insurance plans, destabilizing health insurance markets, increasing premiums for older and sicker people, and weakening consumer protections

RALEIGH (October 12, 2017) — Today, the Trump administration announced an executive order that continues the pattern of previous efforts—including increasing premiums in 2018 by holding payments to insurers hostage, slashing funding for outreach and promotion by 90 percent, gutting funding for in-person enrollment assistance, and using taxpayer dollars to create pro-repeal ads, among others—to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.

The executive order itself instructs federal agencies to explore regulatory changes that could severely destabilize the insurance market; in particular, expanding the sale and use of short-term, limited-duration policies as year-round coverage options jeopardizes consumer protections.

By expanding the sale of loosely-regulated short-term plans, the order aims to pull out young and healthy enrollees from the Marketplace and put them into bare-bones policies with sky-high deductibles, dollar- and service-limits on coverage, and pre-existing condition discrimination. By trying to create a parallel health insurance market for the young and healthy, the Trump administration would make the ACA’s Marketplace look like a de facto high risk pool, as low-risk consumers are siphoned off into junk insurance markets.

“Even the young and healthy consumers who get lured into these junk plans will eventually suffer: after all, healthy people can become sick people,” said Brendan Riley, Policy Analyst for the NC Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project. “The healthy eventually need health care, but they may be left without coverage for their new conditions or without protection against financial ruin when the unexpected—an illness or an accident—happens.”

Expanding access to association health plans could also destabilize and segment the health insurance market. Regulatory changes could allow these plans to play by different rules, undermining consumer protections, enabling discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, and weakening the oversight authority of state regulators. In particular, if these plans can be sold to self-employed individuals, they will further segment and destabilize the individual insurance market.

This executive order comes less than a month before the Open Enrollment period for 2018 begins. Consumers may be confused by all the headlines and political attacks on health care, but they can still enroll during the shorter Open Enrollment period starting November 1 and ending December 15. More than 9 out of 10 North Carolinians who enroll qualify for financial help to reduce their costs, and North Carolinians can schedule a free in-person appointment with an expert by calling 1-855-733-3711 or logging on to www.NCNavigator.net

Check Also

Editorial blasts Berger and Moore over cynical response to prison tragedy

In case you missed it, be sure to ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Congress has just a few days left this month to enact legislation that would address the immigration [...]

12.2 million - the number of people nationally who signed up for health care coverage using HealthCa [...]

Frenches Creek Finishing lies in the watery lowlands of Bladen County, near Lion Swamp, Conkill and [...]

Historical commission member weighs in on monuments, free speech Valerie Johnson is the Mott Disting [...]

The post That’s how ‘Humbug’ is done appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The solid citizens of Johnston County, N.C. – in a fateful quirk of geography – for several years ha [...]

Why North Carolina’s coal ash and mental health crises have a lot in common Two of the biggest stori [...]

The post Tax Cuts & Jobs Act for the 1% appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more