The hyperventilation over cost-sharing payments sends the wrong message to financial markets: Insurers can ignore significant risks, so long as their competitors do so as well.
By throwing money at the problem of rising drug costs, Republican leaders’ ‘solution’ may end up raising them even faster.
When health insurers filed their rates for 2017, not a single state commissioner contemplated that the incoming presidential administration might cancel federal cost-sharing subsidies.
Overall, insurers could receive a windfall of $4 to $5 billion from the Alexander-Murray subsidies spigot. That’s plenty more than the ‘specific benefit’ to taxpayers.
Conservatives should reject the premise that Congress must immediately open the federal piggy bank to replenish the unconstitutional subsidies the Trump administration cut off.
The process for handing health insurers billions of taxpayer dollars to backfill a sinking Obamacare rather than replace it is looking a lot like passing Obamacare itself.
Insurance commissioners’ ignorance that the unconstitutional cost-sharing payments could disappear closely mimics banks’ assumptions leading up to the subprime mortgage disaster.
Throwing taxpayer money at skyrocketing premiums won’t solve the problem, and will instead just create another entitlement that health insurers will want to make permanent.
While insurers claim ‘uncertainty’ compels them to threaten pulling from exchanges or higher premiums, in reality the cause is their gross incompetence and crass politics.
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