These demons never stop trying to hurt millions of Americans.
Trump Administration Proposes Obamacare-Flouting Health Plans
By Benjamin Hart
The Trump administration on Tuesday proposed to make available short-term health plans that don’t cover preexisting conditions, in yet another effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act.
Trump previewed the move in October, when he signed an executive order allowing the development of such plans.
Under Obamacare, short-term coverage can last up to three months, and is meant to be a bridge between jobs or school and work. But the new rule would expand that range to 364 days, and Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that the administration is considering the possibility that customers could renew their coverage for longer.
The Affordable Care Act banned these kinds of bare-bones plans, which were widely available in the pre-Obamacare era, because they lack many of the protections mandated by the law. Beyond preexisting conditions, they also don’t have to provide what are known as “essential health benefits,” which include maternity care and addiction treatment.
Because of their skimpiness, the plans tend to be cheaper than the cheapest offerings in the Obamacare individual marketplaces. The administration framed its decision as a win for consumers.
“Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs,” Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, said. “The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices.”
But, as HuffPost’s Jonathan Cohn lays out, the new regulation is likely bad news for both consumers and the health-care system at large.
Freed from the shackles of a lightly regulated health-care system, insurers can get away with charging huge fees to often-unwitting consumers, leaving them saddled with onerous medical debt.
Trump’s quiet campaign to bring back preexisting conditions
The administration is waging a quiet regulatory war against Obamacare
By Sarah Kliff and Dylan Scott
Feb 22, 2018, 8:10am EST
The Trump administration was already weakening Obamacare
Already in recent weeks, the Trump administration has shown little interest in enforcing Obamacare’s guarantee that healthy and sick people get access to the same type of health insurance.
For example, it hasn’t intervened in Idaho, where regulators recently told insurers they can simply disregard many of the Affordable Care Act rules and sell new “freedom plans” that discriminate against sicker enrollees.
Typically, you’d expect the federal government to get involved — to step in and enforce federal law when a state refuses. But when pressed by a reporter on this issue Tuesday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar demurred.
“I’m not in a position to rule on something I’ve seen a media report about,” he said, adding that he doesn’t “believe in premature opinions on complex topics.”
The Trump administration wants to widen access to plans that deny coverage for preexisting conditions and discriminate against women.
Short-term coverage is allowed to skirt several of the health care law’s core provisions: Plans can deny people insurance based on their medical history, charge them higher premiums because of their preexisting medical conditions, and craft skimpy benefits packages that will appeal mostly to young and healthy people.