President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that “Obamacare is dead,” but now his own administration is beginning to contradict those remarks.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services on June 30, researchers found that insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act were healthy in 2016. The department is led by Trump cabinet member Secretary Tom Price.
According to the report, the insurance market is “working as intended” under Obamacare to compensate “plans that enrolled higher-risk individuals.”
And the picture for insurance companies under Obamacare isn’t as dire as portrayed by GOP rhetoric.
“For the 2016 benefit year, as of the date of this report, an estimated $4 billion in reinsurance payments will be made to 496 issuers nationwide,” the report found.
Price has been a proponent of repealing the Affordable Care Act, but his Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which released the report, found that “the transitional reinsurance and permanent risk adjustment programs functioned smoothly for the 2016 benefit year, as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act compliant market continued to grow.”
In March, Price already pledged to uphold the Affordable Care Act as long as it was law, and now it’s clear why. The concession comes as Senate Republicans struggle to garner enough support to vote on a bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it with it so-called Trumpcare.
Not only did the report find that the “transitional reinsurance and permanent risk adjustment programs functioned smoothly for the 2016 benefit year,” but the findings also showed the health of markets similar to 2014 and 2015.
The report is another blow to Trump’s narrative that Obamacare is failing as insurance companies struggle in the market; and that it came from the department led by Price, who once called for relief for Obamacare’s “victims,” could add further insult to injury as support for repealing the Affordable Care Act appears to be stalling in Congress and within the administration.