Trump very proudly took credit for the state of the health care system and declared Obamacare no more. Immediately afterward, Pennsylvania announced premiums will jump by 30.6 percent.
Donald Trump refused to let the GOP’s failures to repeal Obamacare stand in his way.
This month, he struck back by signing executive orders ending the birth control mandate, pushing people to buy "association" and "short-term" plans without consumer protections, and — most crucially — terminating cost sharing reduction subsidies to insurers.
On Monday, Trump boasted in bizarre fashion to reporters that, through executive fiat, he had gotten rid of the health law once and for all.
"Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone," he rambled. "You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare any more."
Trump should be careful what he wishes for, because just hours after his proclamation, the first effects of his sabotage became clear in Pennsylvania.
According to Pennsylvania’s Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman, the cost of a "silver" plan on the state health insurance exchange will jump 30.6 percent in 2018:
This is not the situation I hoped we would be in, but due to President Trump’s refusal to make cost-sharing reduction payments for 2018 and Congress’s inaction to appropriate funds, it is the reality that state regulators must face and the reason rate increases will be higher than they should be across the country.
These increases will hurt middle-class families considerably, who will now either have to pay thousands more per year to see their doctor, or switch to a cheaper plan that covers less, with higher deductibles and fewer doctors.
Trump clearly wants people to believe the fault lies with Democrats for passing the law in the first place, or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to get rid of it.
But after everything he has done, right up to openly boasting about Obamacare’s demise while insurance commissioners like Altman pin the blame squarely on him, no one is fooled.
Whatever Trump believes, deliberately bankrupting working families suffer and kicking them off their coverage will not be a winning strategy — let alone a moral one.