Saturday, May 20, 2017

Health Insurers blame Trump for Uncertainty and Premium Increases!

President and CEO of Blue Shield in California Paul Markovich made me almost think there's a heart somewhere inside a giant insurance company. Check out this MSNBC interview where Markovich responded to Ari Melber's question about charging higher premiums for the sick, that it doesn't have to be that way...:
Markovich: "Not only do I not think it has to be that way, I think it's just unconscionable to make it that way. We as a not-for-profit health plan, aspire to create a health care system that is worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable. And I think if you look at any kind of health policy through this lens, it's important to treat people equitably..." 
...I followed up his comment with string of GOP lies about guaranteeing coverage for preexisting conditions:
  
“All this uncertainty is not helpful,” warned Blue Shield of California Chief Executive Paul Markovich, who said health plans were being forced to make plans to raise premiums to account for the turmoil, jeopardizing Americans’ coverage. Markovich was one of the few senior insurance officials who agreed to speak on the record, as many fear retribution from the White House or its allies.

But privately, many executives, including chief executives of major health plans, offered withering criticism of the Trump administration’s lack of leadership. “It’s hard to know who’s home,” said one chief executive. “We don’t know who is making decisions.” Another chief executive said: “There seems to be no coordination or coherent planning.… It’s a mess.” A third official observed: “There is a sense that there are no hands on the wheel and they are just letting the bus careen down the road.”
An LA Times story confirms the Trump "administration" is doing all it can to destroy the ACA - ObamaCare:
Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.

The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management — reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide — undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own. Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance.

Most health plans and state regulators interviewed for this story said the Trump administration has significantly exacerbated turmoil in the marketplaces in recent months, contributing to rising premiums and the threat of marketplaces exits.
What many said was a market adjustment in ACA rates has now turned sour due to Trump's inaction:
The uncertainty created by Trump comes as some Obamacare markets were beginning to stabilize, according to many industry and government officials. In several states, insurers and regulators noted that 2017 was shaping up to be a better year than the first several years of the marketplaces.

Many state insurance regulators are similarly dismayed by the Trump administration’s actions. In Colorado, where most consumers continue to have multiple insurance choices, commissioner Marguerite Salazar said the Trump administration threatens the whole market. “My fear is it may collapse,” she said. Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, a Republican, is so concerned the turmoil will drive away insurers that he’s exploring whether the state can make available limited benefit insurance plans as a stopgap.

Insurance industry officials and state regulators have met repeatedly in recent months with senior Trump administration officials in an effort to explain that administration’s actions are jeopardizing health coverage for millions of Americans. At one recent meeting, Seema Verma, whom Trump picked to oversee the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, stunned insurance industry officials by suggesting a bargain: The administration would fund the CSRs if insurers supported the House Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “It made no sense,” said one official at the meeting.

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