Trump, Iowa, ObamaCare, and the StopGap Measure

Word is Trump plans to reject a “stopgap” plan in Iowa to control premiums and save their insurance market. However, no official decision has been made yet.[1][2][3][4]

This is slightly different than the story being passed around the national media which focuses on the idea that Trump has signaled he will stop the stopgap measure (a plan submitted via the ACA’s 1332 waiver that supporters of the plan will ensure over 20,000 Iowans don’t lose coverage due to premium increases).

While national media is rightly calling attention to the idea that Trump and his administration might reject the plan as part of their ongoing and transparent effort to “break ObamaCare” (thereby justifying the tax cuts and spending cuts they call “healthcare reform” and as making “Obama” care and Democrats look bad in the process)… the headlines are jumping the gun a bit (and in reality the tactic would be too, as the story is about needing Trump to help fix the ACA; an opportunity for something much more positive than spurring on more pain in the name of finger pointing).

Calling attention to this is all well and good, however insinuating that the deed has already been done just because Trump mentioned it, rather than calling for Trump not to do the deed, is getting one step ahead of where we should be right now (especially given the President’s history of what he says in the moment vs. what happens in real life after consideration and feedback).

Trump and his administration have been throwing wrenches in the ACA since they got into office, and they have supported GOP led repeal, and thus fearing the worse might be a healthy fear in this respect. However, we shouldn’t forget Trump and his administration also jumped in and saved Alaska’s insurance market by pumping in tens of billions (a story that got buried under a pile of other news… including Trump and GOP attacks on Alaska and Lisa Murkowski).

The bottom line here: The administration and President have a history of both helping and hurting the ACA. Yes, hurt comes more often than help, and the many many words thrown around don’t always help to clarify exactly what is happening. Still, from a glass-half-full perspective, the bottom line here is that there is hope that Trump will jump in and save Iowa by approving their “stopgap” measure (or at least some form of stopgap).

Now with that said, this “stopgap measure” isn’t some magical plan that everyone agrees is good. Rather, it is a controversial measure that is hard to call heads or tails on.

I won’t be telling you here if the measure is a good idea or a bad idea, only that rejecting the measure for political reasons (rather than letting Iowa make its own choices) is probably not the best move.

If it is that 20,000 Iowans will go uninsured due to premium hikes without the measure. Then blocking it, thereby ushering to the increase in uninsured, perhaps to justify a “see, ObamaCare is in a death spiral” talking point, is certainly not the right move.

Simply said, it is hard to say what the right move is, but it for sure isn’t obstruction for political reasons.

“The Iowa Stopgap Measure is a short-term solution to bring stability for Iowans dealing with the effects of the collapsing individual health insurance market due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Without the Iowa Stopgap Measure, 20,000 more Iowans will likely be forced to go uninsured due to skyrocketing premium costs under the ACA according to the economic and actuarial analysis. The Iowa Stopgap Measure is being submitted as a “1332 waiver” for approval by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As a part of the waiver process the Iowa Insurance Division must have had an economic and actuarial analysis, held public hearings and collected public comments.”

Learn more about the Iowa Stopgap Measure from Iowa.Gov.

Citations

  1. Report of ‘stopgap’ insurance proposal’s death is premature, Iowa officials say
  2. ‘Stopgap’ health-insurance plan would illegally burden moderate-income Iowans, critics say
  3. the Iowa Stopgap Measure from Iowa.Gov
  4. Without a Fix, Thousands of Iowans’ Health Insurance Coverage is in Jeopardy August 7, 2017 Kristine A. Tidgren

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