Throughout 2017, the Congressional Budget Office has issued reports about the effects that the various Republican plans to repeal or modify Obamacare would have on the public as well as the federal budget. These CBO scores generally showed that tens of millions would lose their health insurance if the various Republican bills became law and played a large part in the failure of each of those votes.
Even before the failure of those bills, President Trump has said he will consider cutting off Obamacare subsidies that reimburse insurers for lowering costs for low-income consumers. In Trump’s opinion, if he stopped paying these cost-sharing reductions, Obamacare would “implode,” and Democrats would have no choice but to negotiate a replacement plan. Mr. Trump described his strategy as, “Let Obamacare implode, then deal.” The threats haven’t stopped, but the administration has continued to pay the subsidies.
The CBO has released a new report and found that if President Trump stopped paying the cost-sharing reductions, premiums would shoot up 20 percent next year alone and increase the federal deficit by close to $200 billion over the next decade. Moreover, the cuts would lead to more insurance providers leaving the marketplace because of the uncertainty that it would cause.
“Try to wriggle out of his responsibilities as he might, the C.B.O. report makes clear that if President Trump refuses to make these payments, he will be responsible for American families paying more for less care,” New York Senator Chuck Schumer said. “He’s the president and the ball is his court—American families await his action.”