A federal judge has upheld an order by Trump from last year that allow insurers to sell non-Obamacare-compliant healthcare plans to healthy people for a cheaper rate:
BLOOMBERG – The Trump administration can expand the sale of short-term health insurance policies that don’t meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act, a federal judge ruled, advancing the government’s efforts to undo Obamacare.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington rejected challengers’ claims that policies sold under a government regulation unlawfully undermine the ACA, passed by Congress in 2010 to make comprehensive coverage more widely available regardless of a consumer’s pre-existing health conditions.
“Not only is any potential negative impact” from the rule “minimal, but its benefits are undeniable,” Leon wrote in a 40-page ruling. He said there’s no evidence the rule “is having or will have the type of impact — substantial exodus from the individual market exchanges — that would threaten the ACA’s structural core.”
The ruling allows insurers to offer far cheaper plans to healthy people, freed from the ACA’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions as well as from its other requirements. That could lead to higher premiums for people in ACA-compliant plans by siphoning off healthier consumers from the ACA risk pool over time — and potentially to a political headache for Republicans on an issue that fueled the Democratic takeover of the House last year.
The judge based his ruling partly on the elimination of the individual-mandate tax penalty in the GOP’s 2017 tax law. Some Republican senators have since said they didn’t intend their vote to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
A headache for Republicans? Well, I guess that is at least partially true since Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare when they had a majority in the House and a simple majority in the Senate. But it should also be a headache for Democrats if they cared at all about actually fixing the healthcare system. But they are the ones who gave us this disastrous law, forcing it down our throats even. And now they want to put all of healthcare under the government with no private insurance, which would cause many to suffer and cripple the economy underneath a behemoth of cost.
In any event, this is a solid victory if it stands. I’m sure, like everything else, it will continue to be appealed until it goes to the SCOTUS.
If you are wondering, the judge in this case was a Bush appointee.