President Trump meets Obamacare ‘victims,’ blasts Democrats’ opposition

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One of the reasons for that volatility is the lack of guarantees from either Trump or congressional Republicans that the federal government will continue paying insurers billions of dollars in reimbursements for crucial Obamacare subsidies that reduce health costs for low-income customers.

Insurance experts project that premiums next year could be 20 percent higher or more for individual health plans because insurers cannot depend, as of now, on that money, which is known as cost-sharing reduction payments.

The people cited by Trump on Wednesday as victims of Obamacare included Rays Whalen, a woman from Dayton, Ohio.

The president said Whalen had “loved” her health plan and liked her doctor before the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

“Then came Obamacare,” he said. “She could not keep her doctor … unless she paid an additional $50,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for the birth of her precious little girl, just born.”

“The monthly premiums have quadrupled,” Trump said of Whalen’s family. “Their deductible is a staggering $15,000.”

The other person Trump mentioned was Dan Withrow, president of CSS Distribution Group in Louisville, Ky.

“Before Obamacare, his 11 employees enjoyed multiple options for high-quality, affordable health care,” Trump said. “Everybody was happy, is that right?” the president asked, looking back at Withrow.

“Then came Obamacare, and they have fewer choices. Premiums are 150 percent higher. It’s amazing.”

“And creating new jobs is no longer really an option for Dan because the health insurance is so expensive.”

Despite Trump’s vitriol against Obamacare, and despite the fact that his fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress, it is by no means certain that the president will accomplish his goal of repealing and replacing the landmark health-care law.

Republicans can afford only a handful of defections by GOP senators to pass a health-care bill in the Senate. And a number of such senators are concerned that a bill could lead to sharp declines in the number of Americans with health insurance.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill passed last month by the House would result in 23 million more people being uninsured by 2026 than would be the case if Obamacare remained intact.

That number is 3 million more than the total number of people who are estimated to have gained health insurance in the past seven years as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the more formal name of the Obamacare law.

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Natalia Camp


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