Newsdeck

Obamacare subsidy cut-off would raise insurance prices: study

By AFP 16 August 2017

A threat by President Donald Trump to eliminate a crucial subsidy for Obamacare would sharply force up insurance costs and expand the US deficit, an independent government study said Tuesday.

The Congressional Budget Office said Trump’s threat to kill his predecessor’s popular health care program by eliminating the government’s funding of “cost-sharing reductions” (CSR) for low-income Americans would force insurers to jack up premium prices by 20 percent to cover CSRs.

The higher prices could push consumers out of individual insurance markets, making the markets less attractive to insurers as well.

Without the subsidy, the CBO said, “about five percent of people live in areas that would have no insurers in the non-group market in 2018.”

President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which sought to expand health insurance coverage, offered CSRs to people and families earning 250 percent or less of the federal poverty level, which stands at $24,600 a year for a family of four.

The subsidy reduces or eliminates their co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses for health treatment.

In a quirk of the ACA, the CRS subsidies have to be regularly renewed. Worries are that, after the July 28 failure of the Republican-controlled Congress to replace to repeal and replace Obamacare as Trump demanded, he could move to undermine the program by not renewing the subsidies at the end of this month.

“As I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode,” he tweeted at the time. DM

Gallery

Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Days of Zondo

Cuffed with cable ties: Payback for Johan Booysen’s dogged pursuance of high-profile cases

By Jessica Bezuidenhout

"The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology" ~ Edward Wilson