Skip to main content

Obamacare Advocates Say Trump Could Still Undermine The ACA

Photo credit: Associated Press

A mother and daughter wait to meet with an enrollment counselor to sign up for health insurance at a Covered California event in Sacramento, Feb. 12, 2015.

Obamacare Advocates Say Trump Could Still Undermine The ACA

California healthcare advocates are breathing a sigh after the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act — also called Obamacare — fell short.

But they warn the Trump administration could still weaken the law through a variety of administrative decisions.

Here's a case in point: Obamacare provides 900-million dollars to help low-income people with a Covered California plan pay for deductibles and co-pays.

A lawsuit filed by the House in 2014 challenged the so-called cost-sharing reductions program.

The House won in lower court. The Obama administration appealed, but the House decided to hold off further action until Trump took office.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the nonprofit Health Access California, said California is in for some rough times if the Trump administration decides to drop that appeal.

“It could eviscerate that help that hundreds of thousands of California families get, and could really take a wrecking ball to the individual insurance market," he said.

The administration could take other actions without Congressional approval.

For instance, Trump administration officials dislike the requirement that insurers must cover ten essential benefits, including emergency room care.

The administration could allow insurers to limit the amount of each service they would cover.

In a set of proposed rules issued earlier this year, the administration suggested cutting the annual Obamacare enrollment period in half.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.