The American people elected Donald Trump to erase Barack Obama’s disastrous legacy.
When President Trump first took office, pundits scoffed that Obama’s accomplishments were too well entrenched to be dismantled.
But smug liberal arrogance turned to panic when Obama was dealt the most humiliating defeat of his life.
From day one, President Trump went about attempting to fulfill the promise to rollback Obama’s policies.
Target number one was Obamacare.
Liberals thought the crown jewel of Obama’s socialist agenda was safe when John McCain stabbed the President and Republican voters in the back with his shocking “thumbs down” vote on a bill to gut Obamacare.
But that was just a temporary setback.
President Trump signed a historic tax cut bill into law that eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate.
And President Trump signed an executive order championed by Senator Rand Paul that allowed for the sale of cheaper association health plans.
The latest blow to Obamacare came when a federal judge in New Mexico invalidated $10.4 billion worth of risk adjustment payments to health insurers that were designed to cushion the blow for having to take on more high-risk patients.
In response to the judge’s decision, the Trump administration announced they were freezing the payments.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma released a statement explaining why the Trump administration was choking off these Obamacare payments.
“We were disappointed by the court’s recent ruling. As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold. CMS has asked the court to reconsider its ruling, and hopes for a prompt resolution that allows CMS to prevent more adverse impacts on Americans who receive their insurance in the individual and small group markets,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
The New Mexico district court’s ruling currently bars CMS from collecting or making payments under the current methodology, which uses the statewide average premium. This aspect of the risk adjustment methodology was promulgated as part of a regulation first issued by the Obama Administration in 2013. CMS will provide additional guidance shortly on how it will handle other issues relating to risk adjustment payments, including EDGE server data collection operations, appeals of 2017 risk adjustment amounts, and how issuers should treat risk adjustment amounts in the calculation of medical loss ratios.”
This decision follows Trump’s announcement last October that he was suspending cost-sharing subsidy payments that were intended to reimburse insurers for lowering the co-pays and deductibles of low-income Obamacare enrollees.
President Trump hopes that killing off government benefits to big insurance companies will push Congress to finally pass an Obamacare repeal bill.
Conservatives in Congress such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are prepared to make that happen.
They argue that Republicans should take one final shot at repealing the law through reconciliation – where a bill requires just 51 Senators to pass – before the midterm election to both fulfill a campaign promise and energize the base.
Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are opposing this strategy which puts them at odds with both the President and conservative lawmakers and voters.
While Ryan and McConnell refuse to act on years worth of promises to repeal Obamacare “root and branch,” President Trump is taking every step he can through executive action to gut this disastrous law.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in the ongoing fight to repeal Obamacare.