Editorials Across the Country – Even in Red States – Blast President Trump’s Moves to Undermine the Affordable Care Act

USA Today: Trump Sells Out Your Health Insurance Charleston Post And Courier (SC): “The Consequences Of This Decision Will Be Lose-Lose” Raleigh News & Observer (NC): “Will Likely Cause Premiums To Jump Sharply For Many People”

October 16, 2017

USA Today Editorial:  Trump sells out your health insurance

“Trump’s actions are a blatant effort to do himself what Congress refused to do this summer: sabotage the health insurance markets that millions of individual Americans have come to rely on to cover themselves and their families…. Trump's spiteful actions are full of pettiness and partisanship. If his goal is to force congressional Democrats to the bargaining table on health care, he is playing a dangerous game with people's lives, akin to committing arson and hoping the fire department shows up.” [USA Today, 10/15/17]

Bloomberg View Editorial:  Trump's Health-Care Wrecking Ball

“Trump's latest executive order, like his previous moves, seems motivated more by frustration at Congress's inability to repeal Obamacare than by any concern for the smooth functioning of the individual health insurance market. Regardless, it puts the health of millions of Americans at risk.” [Bloomberg View, 10/12/17]

Washington Post Editorial:  Trump ramps up the Obamacare sabotage campaign

“The result is that healthy people would end up covered with cheap and scanty association plans while sick people were left in the normal Obamacare market that guarantees them needed benefits. Premiums for those sick people then would skyrocket… Mr. Trump constantly criticizes Obamacare’s rising premiums. His Thursday actions threaten to raise them far more — especially for some of the Americans who need help the most.” [Washington Post, 10/12/17]

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles Times Editorial:  Trump's one-two punch on the Obamacare exchanges will injure consumers — and taxpayers

“The move will cost insurers about $7 billion a year, but that cost will still largely be passed on to federal taxpayers. To make up for the lost reimbursements, most states plan to let insurers charge higher premiums in the exchanges next year, assuming the insurers continue to do business there — which may not be a safe assumption. Because the vast majority of those buying policies in the exchange have their premiums subsidized by the federal government, the higher premiums will result in higher subsidy payments. So the pain of Trump’s decision will be felt by the U.S. Treasury.” [LA Times, 10/14/17]

San Francisco Chronicle Editorial:  Trump declares war on health care

“Trump’s order actually directs officials to rewrite regulations to enable more low-cost, limited-coverage policies that probably will attract relatively young and healthy consumers betting they can avoid care. If enough of them abandon the full-coverage plans offered on ACA exchanges, leaving behind disproportionate numbers of older and sicker enrollees, their policies could become prohibitively costly. Ending cost-sharing payments likewise is expected to drive up exchange premiums — which, because the policies are subsidized, also will increase federal spending. Both measures stand to return more Americans to the ranks of the actually or effectively uninsured, which is the problem that precipitated health care reform.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/13/17]

Sacramento Bee Editorial:  Trump’s latest attempt to gut Obamacare takes direct aim at 650,000 of our neighbors

“Acting on his obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump took direct aim at 650,000 low-income Californians, not that he seems to care. Having failed to get his way in the Republican-controlled Congress, Trump Thursday night signed an especially mean-spirited executive order that seeks to revoke federal funding for what are called cost-sharing reductions. These subsidies are paid to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act specifically to help low-income people make co-payments for hospitalization and visits to doctors. Trump’s plan to cut the payments starting on Oct. 20 is sure to further disrupt the insurance market in some states.” [Sacramento Bee, 10/13/17]

San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial:  Gutting Obamacare by executive order no way for Trump to lead

“To keep down overall costs, ACA insurance pools need plenty of healthy enrollees. Trump’s order makes that unlikely. Since many ACA-compliant policies have the triple burden of high premiums, high co-pays and high deductibles, healthier people are likely to flock to cheaper coverage. And even though they save money, these individuals could be at risk as well. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones warns that allowing non-ACA compliant health plans will ‘promote a race to the bottom, where insurers choose to incorporate in the state with the weakest laws and requirements providing the fewest benefits and skimpiest consumer protections.’ Unfortunately, this risk is not something that seems likely to bother the president. Even more unfortunately, too many Republicans will see Trump’s executive order as a victory. But it’s hard to see how a wealthy nation making health care more costly for the sick and vulnerable is shrewd governance for any political party.” [San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/12/17]

CONNECTICUT

New London Day Editorial:  Stopping Trump from diminishing health care for millions

“Having arrived in office with no plan to replace Obamacare — his claim to having a plan being another lie — and unable to work with Congress to replace or repair it, Trump has turned instead to destroying the ACA piece by piece through executive orders. The courts need to tell the president he can’t do that.” [New London Day, 10/13/17]

MARYLAND

Baltimore Sun Editorial:  Trump pushes Obamacare over a cliff

“President Donald Trump’s executive order to allow cheaper but less comprehensive health plans into the insurance marketplaces is bad. His decision to stop providing cost sharing subsidies to insurance companies is disastrous. The bipartisan group of senators who worked in the wake of the failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act now must urgently resurrect their efforts, and, failing that, Democrats must put the brakes on the rest of the Republican agenda until the stability of America’s insurance marketplaces is restored.” [Baltimore Sun, 10/13/17]

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston Globe Editorial:  Donald Trump’s health care order creates two Americas

“An executive order signed by Trump on Thursday authorizes changes to Affordable Care Act regulations that are designed to create less expensive, less comprehensive health insurance plans. Health care experts predict that changing the ACA formula in that way drives younger people — who are typically healthier — to the cheaper products. That raises costs for those left behind in the ACA pool, making collapse probable, if not inevitable. Of course, collapse of the ACA is exactly what Trump wants. It fits the one clear goal of his administration: to obliterate progressive policies linked to his predecessor, from civil rights to immigration, from environmental laws to health care.” [Boston Globe, 10/13/17]

MINNESOTA

Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial:  Trump's newest health reform based on wishful thinking, not reality

“After a bitter summer battle over health reform, Congress finally found common ground this fall, recommending pragmatic fixes to stabilize prices and bolster competition in the individual health insurance market. So it is especially frustrating that President Donald Trump is choosing to ignore these bipartisan prescriptions and instead launch a dubious health reform of his own — one that eventually could leave consumers with worthless coverage and many people with medical needs unable to afford traditional insurance.” [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/12/17]

NEW JERSEY

Newark Star-Ledger Editorial:  Trump's open sabotage of Obamacare

“Trump's latest actions - killing the subsidies that help low-income people afford insurance, and opening up the market to junk plans - are his most significant yet to sabotage the health law. They'll strip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, spike premiums, eliminate basic coverage requirements and plunge the market into chaos. Insurers, hospitals and doctors are all freaking out. And this is on top of the huge reduction he's already inflicted on New Jersey's outreach program to encourage enrollment. Our 60 percent funding cut was the biggest in the Northeast. We need that money now more than ever, given all the confusion Trump is sowing.” [Newark Star-Ledger, 10/15/17]

Bergen Record Editorial:  Trump takes a scalpel to the ACA

“Trump’s actions, laid out over consecutive days, were a helter-skelter attempt to deal the most damaging blows yet to the ACA, considered President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. While Trump’s maneuvers are supposedly aimed at helping small businesses and healthier Americans, they could also destabilize health care coverage and delivery and raise costs for millions, particularly the working poor and middle class.” [Bergen Record, 10/15/17]

NEW YORK

Albany Times Union Editorial:  Mr. Trump's reckless cure

“So Mr. Trump has decided to just blow the whole system up like a petulant child who just messes up the game board rather than admit defeat. In this case, Mr. Trump is ordering that insurers be allowed to sell cheaper, short-term policies with fewer benefits and consumer protections than the ACA mandates. His edict appears to upend the ability of states to set certain minimum standards, and to open the door to cherry-picking healthier customers. The order stands to undercut not only the ACA's protections for people with pre-existing conditions but potentially destroy the entire foundation of insurance markets, which depend on payments from healthy people to balance the costs of sick ones.” [Albany Times Union, 10/12/17]

New York Times Editorial:  Congress Can’t Let Mr. Trump Kill Obamacare on His Own

The combined effect of cutting off the insurance payments and the executive order will be to destabilize the A.C.A.’s individual market, which is used by nine million people to buy health insurance. Younger and healthier people will be tempted to buy a skimpy short-term policy with low premiums and switch to a policy that complies with the A.C.A. only when they need medical care. Knowing that they will no longer receive cost-sharing payments and that Obamacare policies will tend to attract older and sicker people, insurers will probably jack up premiums or withdraw altogether in sparsely populated counties.” [NY Times, 10/12/17]

New York Daily News Editorial:  President Trump's unhealthy obsession with undermining Obamacare

“Trump might feel better after this tantrum, but the 6.4 million consumers reliant on insurance purchased on the exchanges this year ought to feel sick, as should every American taxpayer. Insurers will have no choice but to increase their premiums, by what the Congressional Budget Office projects will be an imminent 20%. The brunt of those higher costs will be borne by the federal government, since Congress in passing Obamacare committed to subsidizing most premiums. Cost all in, forecasts the CBO: $194 billion through 2026. Equally alarming is the possibility that healthy participants will flee the exchanges, which Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services has done its darndest to encourage despite the dire consequences of leaving only sicker and therefore costlier patients remaining in the insurance plans. Which will drive costs still higher.” [NY Daily News, 10/13/17]

NORTH CAROLINA

Raleigh News & Observer Editorial:  Trump plays the base a sour tune

“It’s but the latest maneuver to destroy the ACA, which Trump has wrongly characterized as a ‘disaster’ and a ‘nightmare’ when in fact it has made health insurance possible for more than 20 million Americans. Ending the subsides, which Trump in an executive order coupled with wanting cheaper policies with less coverage made available – some call that ‘junk insurance’ – will likely cause premiums to jump sharply for many people.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 10/15/17]

Salisbury Post Editorial:  Trump’s bad medicine

“Thus the president begins to unravel a system that has helped make health care affordable for millions of Americans. Everyone agrees the ACA is imperfect and needs some degree of revision. An evenhanded solution, though, is more likely to come from congressional action than presidential fiat. Working that out will simply take time.” [Salisbury Post, 10/14/17]

SOUTH CAROLINA

Charleston Post and Courier Editorial:  The health care shuffle

“The president says that big step back — suspending federal cost-reduction payments for low-income purchasers of individual health insurance policies — was required by law. That is an unnecessarily strict interpretation of a 2016 federal court ruling that Congress failed to authorize the payments being made by the Obama administration. The consequences of this decision will be lose-lose. It will lead to higher costs for individual policies before government subsidies kick in as well as larger federal deficits, the Congressional Budget Office reports.” [Charleston Post and Courier, 10/16/17]

TEXAS

San Antonio Express-News Editorial:  ER visits could be on the upswing

“But the biggest action to undermine the ACA came Thursday when President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will allow businesses — and maybe individuals — to buy a type of health insurance that avoids ACA protections and state regulations. This will have the effect of driving up costs for the seriously ill and force more insurers to abandon the program — all part of a purposeful effort to undercut the ACA so that the administration can claim it is failing… Sabotaging efforts to maintain current ACA enrollment levels with no viable alternate plan in place will redirect uninsured patients to seek out more costly solutions for their medical problems.” [San Antonio Express-News, 10/12/17]