Trump scrapping the bad stuff in Obamacare, bit by bit
Obamacare is a hydra-headed nightmare monster – with high costs that only go higher, irrelevant services, limited choices, one-size-fits-all offerings, a nasty subsidy system that doubles as an involuntary data-mining operation, bad security, endless paperwork, and an incredibly capricious cost structure, all topped off with a hipster-leftist nomenklatura of entrenched Obamacare industry millionaires who love robbing you blind.
It's horrible no matter how many ways you look at it. And Congress has been largely useless at getting rid of it. Now the voters have decided to see if Democrats can get the job done. Memo to voters: Don't hold your breath.
The Trump administration itself has been helpful in getting rid of the nightmare in increments, starting with its suspension of the detested fines for ignoring the "individual mandate." That's the Obamacare law that says either you buy these expensive and hated offerings that they chose for you or you pay a huge fine, and the IRS will be there to come get you. Pay up for other people's kids' dental care with none for you, or else. The Supreme Court has supported that forced purchase as justifiable under taxation laws. President Trump said they weren't going to be enforcing this de facto poverty tax and made it better for normal people by not doing it.
Now there's something else to chip away at the Obamacare behemoth from the Executive Branch. John Hinderaker of Power Line has a superb summary:
An underreported story is the administration's regulatory reform of Obamacare. Here, the administration is implementing ideas that were developed in think tanks like my organization, Center of the American Experiment. In late October, the administration issued a guidance on Obamacare waivers and a proposed regulation that would expand insurance options available to employers and their employees. Together, these actions go a long way toward undercutting the one-size-fits-all regime that the Democrats imposed via the Affordable Care Act.
The administration's initiatives haven't been widely reported, but word is starting to get around. The Washington Post gets the point, and is not pleased: "New insurance guidelines would undermine rules of the Affordable Care Act."
The Trump administration is urging states to tear down pillars of the Affordable Care Act, demolishing a basic rule that federal insurance subsidies can be used only by people buying health plans in marketplaces created under the law.
According to advice issued Thursday by federal health officials, states should be free to redefine the use of those subsidies, which began in 2014. ...
States could allow the subsidies to be used for health plans the administration has been promoting outside the ACA marketplaces that are less expensive because they provide skimpier benefits and fewer consumer protections.
According to Investor's Business Daily, which has been on the case for months, the change could allow insurance costs to go down by nearly a third on a Silver plan. It would also cut federal spending on the mess by $22 billion.
Called the "Health Care Choices Proposal," it would continue to have the government subsidize individual insurance, but would do so through block grants to states, rather than payments to insurance companies under ObamaCare.
The plan would let consumers apply subsidies to any type of plan they wanted, not just overpriced ObamaCare plans. And to lower insurance costs, it would lift many of ObamaCare's costliest and most disruptive mandates, while continuing to protect those with pre-existing conditions.
And to encourage people to stay insured, the plan would also offer premium discounts for those who continuously enrolled.
For people stuck in the individual market, such moves would be blessed relief from the relentless nightmare of Obamacare.
What we are seeing here is President Trump pulling a lesson from the playbook of Hillary Clinton, ironically enough. In a memorable piece by IBD's John Merline, after Clinton was resoundingly rejected by Congress and voters for her Hillarycare plan, she went to work chipping away at the reforms she and her husband wanted anyway. Chip, chip, chip, which has created the health care situation that Obama chose to remodel into Obamacare. Merline cites a list of Hillarycare reforms that went through after the rejection of Hillarycare.
Seems President Trump is now taking the advice – but instead of working to make things worse for all except the millionaire hipsters, he's working to make things better for normal people. What an innovation.
Watch Democrats shriek when news of these lower health care costs gets out, and then watch how they try to take credit for the lower costs that come of it at election time.