Trump’s First 2 Years: Lower Premiums, More Healthcare Options, Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions

Trump Signs Healthcare Order
Associated Press

President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans have expanded healthcare options and lowered health insurance premiums during Trump’s first two years in office, while protecting patients with pre-existing conditions, contrary to Democrats’ narrative.

After Senate Republicans confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Democrats have turned towards attacking Republicans over their alleged plans to remove protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, despite promises from Donald Trump and Republicans to continue protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.

During the time that Democrats have worked to obstruct any efforts by Republicans to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans have managed to expand health care options, offer more affordable healthcare options compared to Obamacare, and lower premiums.

LOWER OBAMACARE PREMIUMS

Despite skyrocketing premiums from 2013 to 2017, President Trump managed for the first time in Obamacare’s history to lower Obamacare federal exchange premiums for the first time. Before Trump took office, Obamacare individual market premiums more than doubled, from $2,784 in 2013 to $5,712 in 2017, which represents an increase of 105 percent.

In October, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the average premium for Obamacare plans for the Federal exchange will drop by 1.5 percent in 2019.

Further, many states will see a more dramatic drop in premiums, including a 26 percent drop in Tennessee, and a 16 percent drop in Pennsylvania. The drop in premiums represents a dramatic shift from the typical double-digital premium increases that came every year thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Americans will experience greater health insurer participation in 2019 as well, with 23 new insurers participating in the exchange and 29 insurers expanding their coverage. Counties on the federal exchange with only one insurer will drop from 56 percent in 2018 to only 39 percent in 2019. Now, only four states will just have one insurer in 2019, compared to ten in 2018.

MORE AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVES TO OBAMACARE

The Trump administration has expanded more affordable alternatives to Obamacare by extending access to short-term health plans as well as Association Health Plans (AHPs).

The Trump administration rule on AHPs allows small businesses to join together and benefit from the regulatory advantages that many large companies experience under health insurance rules. AHPs can serve employees in a city, county, state, or a particular industry across the nation.

A study from Avalere Health found that Americans would experience drastically lower health premiums through AHPs compared to Obamacare. AHPs would be roughly $2,900 lower per year compared to the small-group market and $9,700 lower per year compared to the individual market.

Avalere cites that the lower average premiums in AHPs mostly result from a healthier insurance pool due to “risk selection” and less generous offerings. The Avalere research found that as many as 3.2 million Americans could leave Obamacare for AHPs.

The Trump administration also expanded short-term limited-duration health insurance plans, which could cost far less compared to Obamacare plans.

Michael Cannon, a health scholar at the Cato Institute, noted that short-term plans could cost 90 percent less than Obamacare plans.

When President Trump signed the executive order expanding AHPs and short-term plans, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) praised the order as “the biggest free-market reform of health care in a generation.”

OBAMACARE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE REPEAL

When Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, they also repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance and represents one of the most significant tax cuts in the Republican tax bill.

As Breitbart News’ John Nolte wrote, 80 percent of those who paid the Obamacare mandate fine for not purchasing health insurance made less than $50,000 a year, making the individual mandate repeal a significant tax cut on America’s middle-class.

LOWER DRUG PRICES

The Trump administration released a blueprint in October to drive down drug prices for American patients. Subsequently, 15 drug manufacturers already announced price freezes, reductions, and rollbacks.

On October 10, President Trump signed two bills into law that would eliminate the “gag rules” preventing pharmacists from telling patients when they can save money from paying cash compared to using their insurance plans.

DEMOCRATS PIVOT TO OBAMACARE AND PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS, WHILE SOME LEFTISTS PUSH FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL 

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), one of the foremost healthcare experts in the U.S. Senate, told Breitbart News in an interview last week that while Democrats will continue to complain about alleged attempts to repeal protections for pre-existing conditions, Republicans will work to lower healthcare costs while protecting pre-existing conditions.

Cassidy said that Democrats will continue to defend the “absence of affordability.”

In contrast, Cassidy said, “We’re about lowering costs, while protecting pre-existing conditions so that middle-class families actually have health insurance.”

Democrats have attempted to pivot towards protecting Obamacare and attacking Republicans over their supposed plan to repeal protections for pre-existing conditions in future Obamacare repeal attempts; however, previous Obamacare repeal proposals such as the Graham-Cassidy block-grant plan, the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), or the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) would not have repealed Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions.

The latest rhetoric represents a last-minute Hail Mary against the GOP after Republicans have nearly matched Democrats in voter enthusiasm and Republicans surging in the polls after the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Minority Leader CHUCK Schumer called the specter of Obamacare repeal a “gift” for Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterms; however, in a news cycle now dominated by immigration and border security thanks to the nearly 7,000 strong migrant caravan edging closer to the America’s southern border, and the possibility of a Democrat-controlled House impeaching President Trump over alleged crimes of collusion with the Russian government, it remains unclear whether Democrats’ attack on Republican candidates will turn the tides into a blue wave in November.

During the 2018 midterms, Democrats have pushed competing narratives of protecting Obamacare and pre-existing conditions, while many Democrat candidates have pushed for Medicare for All, which would scrap traditional Medicare and would raise new questions about Medicare for All’s cost and quality of care.

Breitbart News’SJoel Pollak wrote the three major reasons why Medicare for All will not work for America, including its astronomical cost, its poor quality of care, and how America cannot have both universal health care and open borders.

Democrats in Vermont – Sen. Bernie Sanders’ state, in which it was tried and failed – and California failed to implement a state-level Medicare for All scheme because it was far too expensive and a national Medicare for All scheme seems unlikely because they would have to figure out how to fund a $38 trillion Medicare for All program, especially considering that Medicare will go bankrupt in eight years.

“My point is Medicare for All is Medicare for none,” Cassidy noted in an interview with Breitbart News. “Medicare is actually going bankrupt in eight years, and now Bernie Sanders wants to put 150 million more people into a system going bankrupt in eight years?”

President Donald Trump tweeted last week that Republicans will continue to protect pre-existing conditions, while Democrats will destroy Medicare in their attempt to create a $38 trillion, single-payer, socialized medicine scheme for the country.

“All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them,” Trump wrote. “I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!”

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