Gruber: ‘Let’s Not Pin’ Insurers Withdrawing on Obama, ‘This Is President Trump’s Problem, and He’s Caused It’

On Friday’s “CNN Newsroom,” Obamacare architect and MIT Economics Professor Jonathan Gruber argued that insurers withdrawing from Obamacare shouldn’t be pinned on President Obama, and “This is President Trump’s problem, and he’s caused it.”

After anchor John Berman pointed to insurers withdrawing from Obamacare and asked if that will continue without action, Gruber responded, “Well, look, it’s happening right now, under President Trump. Let’s be very clear –.”

Berman then cut in, “It was happening under President Obama.”

Gruber countered, “No, no, no, let’s be clear, last year’s premium increases were simply making up for the fact that premiums came in 20% below what was expected. Last year’s premium increases [were] a one-time catch-up, and by every projection before the election, that was a one-time catch-up. Insurers were now profitable, and premiums were expected to go up at normal rates this year. Only since President Trump has introduced massive uncertainty into the market, through refusing to pay the cost-sharing subsidies that are part of the law, through the diddling back and forth with the mandate, is it in, is it out, etc. That has caused insurers to say, look, we don’t need to be part of this game. The big insurers — this is a small piece of their business. They make lots of money elsewhere. They’re saying, we’re not going to mess around with this market when policymakers can’t even tell us what’s going to be going on in a year or two. So, let’s not pin this on Obama, okay? This is President Trump’s problem, and he’s caused it. And if he doesn’t like Obamacare and wants to replace it, that’s fine, but don’t burn down the house along the way. Along the way, let’s keep it up, until something better can come along.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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