Health Insurance Premiums Set to Rise Again. Whom Does the New York Times Blame?
Shockingly, the New York Times tries to blame it on Trump:
The Kaiser Family Foundation has compiled proposed insurance prices for coverage in 21 large American cities next year. . . . Two themes stick out: One is that, while insurance premiums will rise substantially in many cities, the increases are generally not bigger than they were last year. The other is that insurers are being quite explicit about citing the Trump administration’s hostile policy messages as a substantial reason for the higher prices.
In many states, insurers have said that they are asking for higher prices because they assume the White House won’t enforce the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, its rule that people who can afford it must buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. The carriers are also worried that the government will stop paying them cost-sharing reduction subsidies, payments that are the subject of a lawsuit between the executive branch and the House, and which the president has repeatedly threatened to halt.
Note how the analysis just takes ObamaCare as a given. Of course, the reason premiums started rising precipitously to begin with was ObamaCare. (Our system of third-party payment started the ball rolling, of course. ObamaCare care just made it worse.) Once the government told people that they could hold off on buying health insurance until they were sick, the concept of insurance was dead. Now, keeping the companies afloat depends on: 1) trying to force people to buy coverage they don’t want, and 2) bailouts.
Blaming Trump for all this requires some mighty convenient amnesia as to how we got here to begin with. It’s like watching Obama slice someone in the chest with a knife and walk away whistling, and watching the New York Times blame Trump for the bleeding, because they don’t like the size of the Band-Aid.
It doesn’t help that six U.S. Senators (McCain, Murkowski, Portman, Heller, Alexander, and Capito) have been turncoats on repeal, or that Trump has done a poor job of putting pressure on those turncoats. To extend the analogy, we need to rip off the Band-Aid and actually sew up this wound. The GOP is helping nothing.
But let’s remember where the original blame for this mess lies: squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama.