Though you may not have known it, President Donald Trump has made the cost of your health care go up significantly since he took office, and he’s done it in so many pernicious little ways that it’s actually hard to keep up with what he’s done.
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The very first executive order of Trump’s term, issued on Jan. 20, signaled that enforcement of the ACA’s individual mandate effectively would cease. The order encouraged the Department of Health and Human Services to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of any parts of the ACA if it found they would “impose a fiscal burden” on individuals or states. Trump pledged to repeal the ACA, which he assailed as a failure and a “disaster.” He canceled TV and radio advertising scheduled for the end of January urging people to enroll.
Citing a study conducted by two experts at the University of North Carolina and Duke University, the Times goes on to lay out specifics of how this administration has been working behind the scenes to subvert the will of Congress and the voters by sabotaging the Affordable Care Act at every turn. For example, the canceling of ads meant that more people wound up waiting until later in the enrollment period, and that had a cost, ShareBlue Media notes:
Enrollment in the final two weeks dropped by 30% compared to the previous year, when President Obama encouraged people to purchase health insurance.
According to the researchers, those who sign up near the end of the enrollment period tend to be healthier, and therefore cheaper for insurance companies to cover. Without them in the insurance pool, a higher percentage of people with insurance are sicker and more expensive.
The result of that 30 percent decrease in enrollment was “enough to account for at least a percentage point or two in increased premiums.” So premiums went up just because the Trump team decided they’d cut the ad budget and let people fend for themselves when it came to finding out the enrollment deadline.
Also, eliminating the mandate to purchase insurance gave many Americans a loophole through which they could refuse to buy coverage, and that made the pool of those insured smaller while also leading to higher premiums.
Make no mistake, while Donald Trump has been unable to get Obamacare repealed, he’s done enough harm to drive up everyone’s premiums and also raise the overall cost of health care, which also increases the national debt.
For years, Trump has been called a con man. But his attack on the Affordable Care Act has literally taken money out of everyone’s pocket. And he probably did it just because the law has Barack Obama’s name on it.
Featured Image Via the BBC