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If Trump undermines ACA, CBO says health insurance premiums will soar

Written by Diane Archer

President Trump has not succeeded on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says health insurance premiums will soar if Trump follows through on his vow to undermine the ACA. In fact, Trump’s plan to destroy the ACA would cost the U.S. almost $200 billion over the next ten years.

According to the CBO, 2018 premiums would rise by 20 percent if Trump refuses to pay the ACA’s copay and deductible subsidies, called “cost-sharing reductions,” guaranteed to people with incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty level. By 2025, premiums would rise by 25 percent. Insurers would need to raise premiums to make up for their lost copay and deductible revenue.

Because the federal government helps pay the premiums of people with incomes under 400 percent of the federal poverty level who enroll in health plans through the state health insurance exchanges, a 20 percent premium increase would mean the government would have to pay an additional $194 billion in premium costs.

The CBO further projects that some health plans would leave the ACA marketplace, reducing choice and competition. And, 5 percent of health care markets would not have a health plan in 2018. As of now, in 2018, one county in Wisconsin and one in Colorado will have no ACA plan options.

Higher insurance premiums would mean that the federal deficit would increase $53 billion by 2026.

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