KMBZ Economist: Healthcare options likely to dwindle as government cuts off subsidies

Michael Ronnebaum
October 17, 2017 - 7:41 am

Millions of Americans are wondering what will become of the health care system in light of the Trump administration's announcement that the government would stop making scheduled payments to insurance companies as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The tight legislative in Washington means the issue will continue into 2018 and influence the midterm elections, said Dr. Chris Kuehl, KMBZ Chief Economist and principal of Armada Corporate Intelligence.

"Without the subsidy most of the insurance companies won't offer those plans anymore," Kuehl said. "If they offer anything at all that would be directed toward the poor or the very sick their premiums would be very high."

The move could leave insurance companies with only a couple of options. 

"They're either going to have to allow them to turn people away who are high risk, which nobody seems to want, or they're going to have to find some way to subsidize," Kuehl said.

Democrats accuse the president of gutting health care protections for the poor. Republicans say skyrocketing costs under the ACA must be curbed before they bankrupt millions of working families.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, as Obamacare stands today, next year's annual premiums in Kansas and Missouri will increase more than $1,100.

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