Tom Zehner: Why is the President hurting people rather than helping them? |

Tom Zehner: Why is the President hurting people rather than helping them?

The president's agenda has focused on unwinding Barack Obama's legacy. He's more focused on destroying his nemesis than trying to replace, to fix or to improve Obama's biggest accomplishments from the Iran deal to environmental regulation. The White House announced it would no longer pay insurance companies money they are owed for providing discounts to policyholders who earn less than 250 percent of the poverty level.

Colorado's top insurance regulator says these policies could lead to weaker coverage in the state and much higher costs for the sick. "The limited benefits, the focus on the healthy at the expense of those with pre-existing conditions, and lack of regulatory oversight will cause problems for the health insurance market as a whole," said Marguerite Salazar, the state's insurance commissioner.

Nearly 20 health organizations warn that this executive order could weaken patient protections and destabilize the individual market. “Siphoning off healthy people into risky, low-value plans, could leave millions of Americans with chronic or serious illnesses in an unsustainable insurance pool with rising premiums and fewer choices. It could also leave those who are healthy seriously underinsured when they face an unexpected health crisis,” they wrote.

How does this executive order affect you?

  • Pulling the plug increases the national deficit. As those insurance plans make double-digit rate increases, the government will have to spend billions more on the other subsidies that 10 million Americans receive to purchase that coverage.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this move will ultimately cost the government $194 billion over the next decade.
  • It will raise ACA premiums by an estimated 20 percent in 2018, as health plans have to charge more to make up the lost funds. Premiums would increase 25 percent by 2020.
  • The number of uninsured Americans would rise by 1 million people in 2018, in the CBO's estimate.

The Kaiser Family Foundation just did another poll and found that large majorities of the public — 71 percent — want President Trump and his administration to do what they can to make the current law work.

So why would the president do this when most do not want it? This is a policy that helps nobody and hurts millions. Trump has long predicted the implosion of the ACA. Since it would not implode on its own; he simply is sabotaging it.

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He plans to use the White House to tear down his predecessor rather than to help the people who voted him into office. Only a vindictive, sick person would do this. I guess he's that guy.

Call your congress people today and let them know this is wrong. Our government is elected to help its people not hurt them.


Tom Zehner

Steamboat Springs