Republicans in the U.S. Senate failed in their last attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and now Americans will suffer when President Donald Trump takes matters into his own hands.
Recently, Trump canceled the cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurers. These subsidies are given to insurance companies so they can offer affordable plans for poor Americans.
Not making these payments will cause states across the country to raise premiums. Pennsylvania, a key election state that Trump won, will raise premiums by 30 percent in 2018, according to the state’s insurance department.
So, why should we as college students care about this? Many of us are on our parents’ insurance plans and will be until we’re 26 — a policy created by Obamacare.
Those of us on our parents’ health insurance might worry, depending on our parents’ income, according to Amy Spurlock, a professor in the nursing program.
“This could impact the people that aren’t the lowest of the low income,” Spurlock said. “The insurance companies are having to subsidize the people that are of the lowest income.
“The next tier of income will be the most affected by this. They’re the ones who may lose access to their health care. So, if a student is in that group, then that’s where I would worry.”
In the 2017 legislative sessions, the Republican-controlled Senate tried multiple times to repeal Obamacare, but each attempt came up short — sometimes by just one vote.
Even some Republican senators cannot agree with the president’s approach to health care.
“What the president is doing is affecting the ability of vulnerable people to receive health care right now,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins said in an interview with CNN. “This is not a bailout of the insurers.
“What this money is used for is to help low-income people afford deductibles and their co-pays so their health care is available to them.”
The president is trying to undermine Obamacare, and this is not the first time he has done so.
Since his inauguration, he has retweeted and posted videos and pictures criticizing the health care law. Money and resources meant to be used for expanding enrollment in the health care exchange have instead been used to attack it.
In addition to not paying the subsidies, Trump also signed an executive order that allows insurance companies to sell less expensive plans with fewer benefits and fewer protections for consumers, according to the New York Times.
Why is President Trump doing this? To truly know what is going on inside the president’s mind is difficult. However, one plausible reason is spite for his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
Since January, Trump has signed executive orders to repeal many Obama-era policies, including landmark ones on environmental and consumer protection.
During the election cycle, Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare as soon as his first day on office. Nearly nine months have gone by, and this administration has little substantive progress of which it can be proud.
Trump gave Congress a chance to pass legislation on health care, so now he’s taking manners into his own hands with executive orders, something he frequently criticized Obama for overusing in his presidency.
Canceling the insurance subsidies will affect every state — those he won in the election and those he didn’t.
Presidents and their administrations are supposed to provide guidance on major legislation like this, but Trump has not shown the leadership his predecessors have.
Maybe when their insurance premiums go up, even Trump’s most fervent supporters will see that this president does not know how to make policy, especially for health care.