Biden Moves to Make Obamacare More Expensive

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Biden turned back Trump’s limitations on the expensive Obamacare government plan. He’s forcing everyone into heavily subsidized, highly-regulated plans. He’s back to forcing youth to pay for all the extras the government is taking over, such as maternity, pediatric, and other services.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury Departments on Friday proposed rules to roll back the Trump Administration’s expansion of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans. Since 2018 these plans have been available in 12-month increments, and consumers have been able to renew them for up to 36 months.

Short-term plans aren’t required to provide comprehensive benefits, including pediatric services, maternity care, and mental health treatment. They are thus much cheaper than the heavily-regulated plans on the ObamaCare exchanges, which must provide 10 “essential” benefits and are restricted in their ability to charge premiums based on age and risk.

This is the nail in America’s coffin. They’re forcing everyone on government healthcare eventually, making us even more dependent on the government.

These plans are especially attractive to young people whose employers don’t provide coverage. Why would a healthy 26-year-old want to pay for maternity, pediatric, and other services he probably won’t use in the near future?

The Inflation Reduction Act sweetened ObamaCare’s insurance premium tax credits that are tied to income. As a result, a 60-year-old making just above four times the poverty level has to pay only 8.5% of his income toward his insurance premium while the government picks up the rest. If premiums increase, government is on the hook for more.

But after the Inflation Reduction Act’s enhanced subsidies expire in 2025, consumers will be in for sticker-shock. Hence, the Administration is trying to drive more young, healthy people back into the exchanges by reinstating a four-month cap on short-term plans and prohibiting renewals. Presto: A free market for insurance that competes with the ObamaCare exchanges disappears.

The Biden rule may also draw a legal challenge.

The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon notes that the proposal conflicts with a 2020 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that “nothing in [federal law] prevents insurers from renewing expired STLDI policies.” Once again, the Administration is rewriting law by regulatory decree.

Biden has been legislating from the White House for two years.


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