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Midterm Voters Read Over Weekend Their Premiums Will Rise; Trump, GOP to Blame

Voters are already primed to hold Republican Senate candidates accountable for the politics the GOP has played on health care, and with Trump’s decision to end the CSRs, there is no question where they will focus their outrage. Steve Bannon confirmed the President’s actions are designed to “blow up” health care, and Americans across the country, especially in midterm states, will pay the bill.

MI – Detroit News: Mich. Dems, GOP spar on Trump’s end of health subsidies.

  • “The state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, warned Trump’s move means higher premiums… With the subsidies gone, Michigan consumers will pay 10 percent more for marketplace plans regardless of whether they previously qualified for a subsidy, said Dominick Pallone, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans. That’s because premiums are based on the cost of health care across the entire risk pool, Pallone said.”
  • “Nearly 156,300 Michigan consumers received health plans with cost-sharing reduction subsidies.”
  • “Uncertainty over the subsidies had already led insurers to request a collective 28 percent rate hike in Michigan and played a role in the Health Alliance Plan withdrawing plans it had expected to sell on the Michigan exchange. The average rate request increase for next year is far higher than the 16.7 percent hike the state approved for this year. Marketplace insurers received average increases of 6.5 percent increase in 2016 and 8 percent in 2015.” 

MT – KTVQ: Trump undercuts “Obamacare” market in Montana; one insurer may consider exit.

  • “The Trump administration decision late Thursday to stop paying a key ‘Obamacare’ subsidy is roiling Montana’s health-insurance market for individuals – and could spell trouble for at least one Montana insurer in this market.”
  • “The decision increases costs for the three health insurers providing individual polices to 66,000 people in Montana. But two of them may not be allowed to adjust their 2018 premiums to cover those costs. One of them – the Montana Health Co-op – likely will stop doing business in Montana next year if it can’t adjust its 2018 rates, said Co-op President Larry Turney. The Co-op insures 22,000 Montanans.”

MT – Great Falls Tribune: Trump’s healthcare executive order prompts Montana scrambling.

  • “Trump’s executive order on health care prompted at least one of the three insurance providers in Montana participating in the Affordable Care Act to ask the state insurance commissioner for permission to refile its rates for 2018, which were posted earlier this week, with a 20 percent increase. If not, the provider may consider pulling from the state. ‘In my wildest imagination I never thought a president of the United States would throw 12 million people under the bus to make a political point, but I guess I am wrong,’ said Jerry Dworak, chief executive officer of the Montana Co-Op, which provides insurance 20,000 people.”

ND – News Tribune: Trump’s health care decision could cost North Dakotans.

  • “President Donald Trump’s plan to halt payments to insurers under predecessor Barack Obama’s health care law could potentially raise health insurance costs as much as 10 percent for up to 42,000 North Dakotans, state Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said Friday… Godfread said it’s possible that all 42,000 people who buy individual policies on the North Dakota market could be impacted.”

ND – Grand Forks Herald: Consumers lose out in Trump’s decision to cut off insurer subsidies, ND insurance commissioner says.

  • “Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, a Republican, said the 42,000 North Dakotans who are on the individual marketplace are ‘likely going to see some effect from this’ in the form of rate adjustments. ‘We think it’s unfortunate that these CSR payments have been ultimately politicized,’ he said. ‘The big loser in this is the … consumers who rely on those subsidies.’”

NV – Nevada Independent: Sandoval: Trump decision to end health-care subsidies for low-income Americans is ‘devastating’.

  • “Governor Brian Sandoval called the president’s decision to end critical payments from the federal government that help health insurance companies offer affordable coverage to lower-income Americans ‘devastating.’”
  • “‘It’s going to hurt people. It’s going to hurt kids. It’s going to hurt families. It’s going to hurt individuals. It’s going to hurt people with mental health issues. It’s going to hurt veterans. It’s going to hurt everybody,’ Sandoval said in a brief interview with The Nevada Independent.”

OH – Columbus Dispatch: Trump’s twin moves undercut Obamacare.

  • “The move means an 11-percent cost increase in Ohio, on top of a 23 percent hike insurance companies said was needed for the coming year, at least in part due to instability of health-care laws as Republicans try to fulfill campaign promises to repeal Obamacare.”

PA – Trib Live: Trump’s cuts to Obamacare subsidies undermine patients, Pennsylvania critics say.

  • “Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, said Trump’s move could impact 233,000 Pennsylvania residents.”

PA – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Trump’s end to health-care subsidies could mean double-digit rate hike in Pa.

  • “More than half of Pennsylvania’s Affordable Care Act members received the subsidies, which totaled $214 million in 2016 or an average of $949 per enrollee, according to Antoinette Kraus, director of Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a Philadelphia-based advocacy group.”
  • “In June, the state Insurance Department said the end of the subsidies would increase rates by 20.3 percent statewide. Otherwise, the rate hikes would be in the low single digits, state regulators have said.”

WV – Register Herald: Trump, Jenkins putting your health care at risk.

  • “Why Republicans in D.C. want to weaken health care insurance – instead of strengthening it – is beyond the bounds of rational thinking. It is as if they are on a political suicide mission. But we do believe that President Donald Trump’s attempt to sink the Affordable Care Act is but a ham-handed, crass, ego-driven attempt to continue his purge of every legislative accomplishment that President Obama put on the board for the good of our country.”
  • “Whom will it hurt? A whole lot of people in West Virginia, that’s who.”
  • “As a side note, it was laughable when presidential lapdog Rep. Evan Jenkins took all of a couple of hours to weigh in today, saying he was all in favor of the president’s plan. This is the same guy who, during debate, couldn’t bring himself to say how he would vote on the GOP effort last spring to repeal and replace – saying only that he was still reading the bill. This is the same politician, famous for his retail politicking during campaign season, who couldn’t hold a single town meeting to take questions from his constituents about his thoughts on health care. And this is the same robot who simply spits out the company line, that the ACA ‘is failing.’”

WI – AP: Trump action to kill Obamacare subsidies fuels calls to soften blow in Wisconsin.

  • “More than 90% of people who buy health insurance through the federally run exchange in Wisconsin receive subsidies that President Donald Trump is taking away, fueling calls from Democrats and other advocates to take action to soften a spike in costs.”
  • “Wisconsin announced the 36% premium increase for the average plan on Thursday, fueled by the loss in subsidies that help cover deductibles and copayments for low-income consumers, just hours before Trump said he was ending the federal assistance.”
  • “This year 216,000 Wisconsin residents bought health insurance through the exchange. Of those, 91 percent received a subsidy.”

See also:
AP: Pro-Trump states most affected by his health care decision.
USA Today: Trump sells out your health insurance [Editorial]

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