In his nine months as president, Donald Trump’s position on Obamacare has gone from repeal and replace; to repeal now and replace later; back to repeal and replace; to let Obamacare fail on its own; and he now is doing everything he can by executive fiat to make it fail himself. He is so eager for a victory as president that he will do whatever is in his power, even if it means sabotaging health care for millions of Americans.
After he and Senate Republicans failed several times to pass their own health care bill, Trump is using executive orders to repeal the individual mandate; repeal regulations on what insurers must cover and how much they can charge for their plans; and withhold the federal subsidies that help lower-income Americans pay for their monthly premiums.
The cumulative effect of these changes means that healthy Americans will have no incentive to buy comprehensive plans, and either will buy the lowest-coverage insurance possible or opt out entirely, leaving companies to sell plans primarily to older Americans and others in need of the costliest medical care.
Insurance works by spreading the cost among consumers. Those who may not need it in the short-term pay a little more so those who need it now can afford it. If only the sickest people buy health insurance, companies are forced to raise premiums to cover the cost of their care until insurance becomes unaffordable for average Americans who need it most.
The majority of Americans polled want Republicans to work with Democrats to improve Obamacare, not to repeal it wholesale and start from scratch. If President Trump has his way, his executive orders will mean fewer people with insurance and more expensive plans with higher deductibles for the neediest and most vulnerable Americans, low-income children and seniors.