An op-ed by Joshua Kushner, the brother of White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, published Friday criticizes the Trump administration’s “last-minute policy moves” in relation to fixing Obamacare.
Kushner, the co-founder of Oscar Health Insurance, and Oscar Health Insurance’s CEO Mario Schlosser, wrote the piece for Axios, published Friday, titled: “The individual market will thrive in the long run.”
Not since the first year of the Affordable Care Act has there been so much uncertainty at the start of an open enrollment period. How many Americans will sign up for health coverage? As experts weigh the uncertain impact of the Trump administration’s last-minute policy moves, estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and Urban Institute range from nearly one million fewer Americans with coverage to at least 600,000 more.
President Trump ran on the promise to repeal-and-replace Obamacare, but multiple bills to do so have failed in the Senate after a number of establishment Republicans refused to back the various forms of legislation.
President Trump subsequently signed an executive order this month that expands access to association health plans by small businesses, expands the length of short-term health plans, and expands health reimbursement accounts for small businesses. He also signed an order halting payments to insurers, which critics of Obamacare have described as bailouts for insurance companies.
Kushner and Schlosser argue that the actions will “simultaneously aid and undermine enrollment, thanks to the mixed impact of its political and policy changes.” They claim that while plans will be more affordable, “the administration’s cuts to outreach and sporadic lip service to repealing the ACA do nothing to stanch growing confusion among shoppers.” They write:
It will be hard — after four years where tens of millions of Americans have gained access to health insurance — for the administration to erase the virtues of an individual market where consumers choose their health plan and no one is discriminated against based on health status. In fact, we project that Oscar will enroll significantly higher membership across our six states this year.
Although they conceded that Obamacare is in needs of “fixes,” they appear optimistic that, in the long-run, many of its features will remain in place.
“Our optimism about the individual market, both this year and beyond, stems from our conviction that the near-term regulatory turbulence will pass and that the individual market will thrive in the long run,” they write.
It is not the first time Joshua Kushner has shown disagreement with his brother. In January, he was spotted attending the anti-Trump “Women’s March” in Washington, D.C.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY