President Donald Trump has threatened to blow up Obamacare. But his own administration is separately dangling hundreds of millions of dollars before states to bail out their insurance markets.
Alaska will get $323 million over the next five years to coax its lone Obamacare insurer to remain in the market and hold down premiums. At least four other states, including some that have vociferously opposed the Affordable Care Act, are seeking similar deals.
Story Continued Below
The efforts come as the GOP push to repeal and replace the law is in disarray and state officials in both red and blue states seek ways to shore up their shaky markets. They have the blessing of the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services — even as the president himself is threatening to cut off key subsidies as early as this week. That move could send premiums skyrocketing and potentially collapse insurance markets nationwide.
The White House said Thursday it applauds the stabilization efforts even as Trump steps up the pressure on the Senate to resume efforts to try to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“We support the Secretary’s efforts to give states flexibility to create solutions to relieve the burden of Obamacare that has skyrocketed premiums and reduced coverage choices for the American people,” said a spokesman.
The Alaska waiver, drawn up late in the Obama administration in one of the reddest states in the country, was approved this summer under Trump’s HHS Secretary Tom Price.
State officials pioneered the idea of a stabilization…
click here to read more