A Gentle Reminder to the Middle Class About the Cost of Health Insurance

We’re reading that some hard-working people are building up resentment because their health insurance premiums have sky-rocketed this year while those who qualify for Medicaid or ACA subsidies don’t have to pay these increased premiums.  Here’s our message: You should be mad about this; but please direct your anger toward the cause rather than toward those who earn less than you do.

There are two reasons why premiums have gone up:

  1. The Trump Administration eliminated subsidies for the profits of insurance companies who participate in the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. The insurance companies are charging more to make up that difference. We knew this last fall; let’s remember it.
  2. Several million fewer people are buying insurance because Republicans in Congress passed a law eliminating the “individual mandate.” These are mostly healthy people who think they don’t need insurance. Without those healthy people paying into the insurance pool, insurance companies have to raise prices to make up the difference.

Let’s not play into the plans to divide us; let’s realize what those who stoke resentment are doing that on purpose to retain power. Let’s throw them out of office and restore subsidies for all who need them and work toward universal, affordable healthcare for all.

Today, Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services announced a new rule that would allow short-term, non-renewable policies. Here’s the Kaiser Family Foundation’s assessment: “Short-term health insurance policies offer lower monthly premiums compared to ACA-compliant plans because short-term policies offer less insurance protection.” This rule will not reduce real costs of healthcare for American families; it deceptively allows the offering of low-cost policies that don’t provide long-term protection and don’t provide essential coverages even in the short-term. This moves us backward, not forward to better, lower-cost coverage for all.

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