Trump’s Premium Lie on Premiums. Buckle Up. - ProgressTribune.com
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Trump’s Premium Lie on Premiums. Buckle Up.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied that Obamacare is “dead,” however, recently he has been bragging dishonestly about low insurance premium growth in 2019 marketplace plans.

Trump lied that “the rates are far lower than they would have been under the previous administration,” also lying, “because we’re managing it very, very carefully.” A reputable study disputes that, and the experts say that most administration actions during the past two years have increased premiums.

The thigns that the administration has done “by and large have destabilized the market,” Cynthia Cox said. She is the director for the program on the study of private insurance and health reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Trump made his claim on September 17 at an event held at the White House to start up the National Council of the American Worker. Trump spoke regarding new regulations for the association health plans, created by employer groups, and then claimed, “we have the remnants of Obamacare.”

Trump Sept. 17: “But the thing that I really am very happy to announce is that the rates are far lower than they would have been under the previous administration, or under a Democrat administration. We’re holding the rates down. So that remnant is being able to — the remnant of Obamacare is much less expensive than people thought. They were going up, before I got here, at 118 percent, in some cases; 150 percent, 160 percent, 55 percent. We have the percentage going up at a much lower level because we’re managing it very, very carefully. So we’re very proud of that.”

Back in August, during a Fox News interview, the dishonest president similarly lied, “You know, we’ve mostly got it killed … but we’re getting the remnants of Obamacare — the increase is much less than people thought. That’s because of us.”

An average increase announced via the Department for Health and Human Services back in October 2016 — before Donald Trump became president — in the 2017 plan year was 25% for the second-cheapest silver plan available via HealthCare.gov, which covered thirty-eight states. Trump cherry-picks the highest increases in specific states or cities.

2019 Premiums

It is true that premium increases of 2019 plans will likely be low.

An analysis that was published back in early September via the Associated Press found a 3.6% average increase in 47 states and Washington, D.C., projected for 2019. They have updated that figure since then to 2.8% for 48 states along with D.C. The analysis examined overall premiums in the rate filings for 34 states along with final rates in 14 states.

Why exactly is there such a huge drop in premium growth rates?

“This year, there was an absence of disruption,” regarding policy changes, said Dan Mendelson, the founder for Avalere Health, in a phone interview with factcheck.org. “In other words, markets were stable.” What this means is because the incompetent Trump administration was meddling less, less problems were caused. And the second factor involved is an expectation for slower growth in medical expenses, which is a factor he doesn’t believe “any politician can take credit for.”

“Individual market premiums will be higher in 2019 than they would have been without the administrations’ policies,” said Matthew Fiedler, who is a fellow of the Center of Health Policy for the Brookings’ Economic Studies Program, to factcheck.org in an interview.

“I estimate that the nationwide average per member per month premium in the individual market would fall by 4.3 percent in 2019 in a stable policy environment,” Matthew Fiedler wrote in a report on the issue.

 

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