Las Vegas, NV – A new story in the Los Angeles Times reveals how Washington Republicans are driving instability in health care marketplaces as they continue their partisan campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance providers are now voicing loud concerns about the White House’s “erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.” While Republicans boast about the ACA’s death spiral, Senator Dean Heller and President Donald Trump leave out the fact that they are actively undermining the law and pushing for its collapse for their own partisan political agenda.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Stewart Boss released the following statement:
“While Republicans in Washington are debating a radical health care plan that would raise your out-of-pocket costs and impose an age tax on older Nevadans, mismanagement from the Trump White House and uncertainty driven by the GOP Congress are already wreaking havoc on people’s lives and making health care more unaffordable. Senator Dean Heller – who is working to get to a ‘yes’ vote on the Republican repeal plan – is 100 percent complicit in this health care chaos that could now lead to dramatic rate hikes.”
Los Angeles Times: Health insurers plan big Obamacare rate hikes — and they blame Trump
Noam N. Levey
MAY 18, 2017 | REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON
Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.
At the same time, state insurance regulators — both Democrat and Republican — have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year.
The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management — reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide — undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own.
Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance.
“All this uncertainty is not helpful,” warned Blue Shield of California Chief Executive Paul Markovich, who said health plans were being forced to make plans to raise premiums to account for the turmoil, jeopardizing Americans’ coverage.
Markovich was one of the few senior insurance officials who agreed to speak on the record, as many fear retribution from the White House or its allies.
But privately, many executives, including chief executives of major health plans, offered withering criticism of the Trump administration’s lack of leadership.
“It’s hard to know who’s home,” said one chief executive. “We don’t know who is making decisions.”
Another chief executive said: “There seems to be no coordination or coherent planning.… It’s a mess.”
A third official observed: “There is a sense that there are no hands on the wheel and they are just letting the bus careen down the road.”
But most health plans and state regulators interviewed for this story said the Trump administration has significantly exacerbated turmoil in the marketplaces in recent months, contributing to rising premiums and the threat of marketplaces exits.
The uncertainty created by Trump comes as some Obamacare markets were beginning to stabilize, according to many industry and government officials. In several states, insurers and regulators noted that 2017 was shaping up to be a better year than the first several years of the marketplaces.