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While the nation slowly bleeds during the government shutdown, the Trump administration forges on in its mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act from within. It’s not going to let the healthcare election of 2018 deter it. The latest sabotage efforts are intended to make Obamacare coverage more expensive by raising out-of-pocket costs, along with a sneaky move to drop people from the rolls.

The proposed new rules would increase the out-of-pocket limits for individuals by $200 a year and for families by $400. It would also change the formula for setting premium costs for the roughly 9 million people who get subsidies, increasing their premiums. It would mean an increase in consumer premiums of $181 million, which would drive 100,000 people out of coverage and thus save the federal government $900 million.

The other petty, pernicious, and sneaky thing they want to do is stop automatic re-enrollment in the new plan year. Instead, if enrolled customers don’t act, they’re just dropped from the rolls. Now, every year I argue that everyone in any kind of private health insurance plan should review their options and make a decision if they want to stay in their plan or find one that might work better. That’s how it should work, but it doesn’t always because insurance shopping is objectively a shitty way to have to spend your time. So a lot of people don’t do that, including 1.8 million people enrolled in Obamacare plans for 2019.

There’s 1.8 million people who could see their insurance just disappear. However, these changes wouldn’t go into effect until the 2021 plan year, so NOT at the beginning of 2020 when they could hurt Republicans in an election year. Maybe the Trumpsters did take a single message away from the 2018 election.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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