Trump has done two things that make insurance less affordable: he eliminated individual mandates, and he signed an executive order allowing people to receive cheaper coverage through potentially fake, low coverage, “association plans.”
Although neither of these changes “undo” the Affordable Care Act, as Trump likes to brag, they both succeed in taking affordability out of the equation and will have serious consequences, especially for older and poorer Americans.
Removing individual mandates takes away the Obamacare requirement that everyone, even the young and healthy, buy into the healthcare system. Because younger, healthier Americans do not get sick as often, their participation in the healthcare system balances out the higher needs of other sicker or older Americans who need more care, making the overall system more affordable for everyone.
Trump’s creation of “association plans” is a lion in sheep’s clothing. The association plans will not be required to provide the basic services required of all insurance offerings under Obamacare. Trump has presented association plans as a cheaper option for people who do not need a lot of health care coverage. But the lack of regulation and requirements on the association plans will lead to fake insurance, insurance scams, and companies that offer cheap plans with basically no coverage.
Trump, of course, offers little reasoned explanation for the change, instead touting that his plans will be “very popular.” And as usual, his statements include false information and unintelligible rhetoric. He does not appear to understand the individual mandate, association plans, or the potentially catastrophic results both could have on health and healthcare.
In his interview with the New York Times, Trump says “There are people who had very good health insurance that now are paying not to have health insurance. That’s what the individual mandate. … They’re not going to have to pay anymore. So when people think that will be unpopular. … It’s going to be very popular. It’s going to be very popular.“
Georgia is already struggling with healthcare, especially in providing services to rural areas, to the elderly and to the poor. Trump’s changes will magnify the problems we already have without providing any solutions. Many people will lose care, will now be unable to afford care, or will be swindled by the so-called “association plans.”