News

Health Care

Trump Administration Announces Decline in Obamacare Premiums

A sign on an insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, San Diego, Calif., October 26, 2017. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that premiums for Affordable Care Act plans will be about four percent cheaper on average beginning next year and credited President Trump’s market-based reforms with lowering costs.

The lower average benchmark premium, which is expected to drop from $406 to $388, will mark the second consecutive year in which rates have dropped. Of the 38 states using the federal Obamacare exchanges, six states will experience double-digit declines, but three will see double-digit increases.

Open enrollment for 2020 begins next week, and 20 new insurance plans will be debuted, the administration said.

The administration cited several policies that it said have contributed to the decrease in premiums, including the approval of a dozen requests from states for reinsurance programs, which shield insurance companies from covering the entire cost associated with the most expensive patients. Officials have also expanded options for less comprehensive and cheaper plans that appeal to a younger, healthier demographic.

While working to enact minor reforms, the administration also tried to undermine the system when it scrapped the law’s individual mandate in the 2017 tax reform bill, which effectively amounts to a tax levied against consumers who choose to go uninsured. The administration has also supported a lawsuit filed by several red states challenging whether the entire Obamacare law can stand without the individual mandate, which they say is unconstitutional.

“The ACA simply doesn’t work and it is still unaffordable for far too many,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar insisted. “But until Congress gets around to replacing it, President Trump will do what he can to fix the problems created by this system for millions of Americans.”

“The president who was supposedly trying to sabotage this law has been better at running [the Affordable Care Act] than the guy who wrote the law,” Azar told reporters.

Democrats and supporters of the law objected, saying the law has simply settled into the marketplaces and the administration deserves no credit for the market stabilization.

“Despite the Trump administration’s effort over the last two years to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, the record average rate decrease and interest by insurers is evidence that our market is stabilizing,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

How to Avoid a China-Led World Order

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, it has opened our eyes to China’s rapidly expanding role in the international order and global economy. Beijing’s outsize role in the World Health Organization has come under attack, as has the muscular diplomacy used by China’s foreign ministry in responding to ... Read More

How to Avoid a China-Led World Order

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, it has opened our eyes to China’s rapidly expanding role in the international order and global economy. Beijing’s outsize role in the World Health Organization has come under attack, as has the muscular diplomacy used by China’s foreign ministry in responding to ... Read More
Education

Science, Coronavirus, and Notre Dame

A few weeks back, the University of Notre Dame outlined its plan for reopening campus in the fall, detailing the way in which the administration hopes to bring students back to South Bend to resume in-person classes. Like the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the U.S., Notre Dame shifted all ... Read More
Education

Science, Coronavirus, and Notre Dame

A few weeks back, the University of Notre Dame outlined its plan for reopening campus in the fall, detailing the way in which the administration hopes to bring students back to South Bend to resume in-person classes. Like the overwhelming majority of colleges and universities in the U.S., Notre Dame shifted all ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More