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Obamacare has officially transitioned to Trumpcare, as insurance experts predicted an executive order signed Thursday by President Donald Trump will further destabilize former President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act and cause millions of Americans to lose health insurance.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who’s teamed with Republicans to call for congressional steps to stabilize the ACA, issued a statement rebuking Trump’s order, which reportedly was just his first step in dismantling Obamacare. The New York Times Thursday night reported Trump will end cost-sharing reduction payments that subsidize low-income people on the ACA marketplaces.
Earlier in the day, Trump ordered the expansion of access to cheaper, less comprehensive insurance plans experts say will make coverage for the truly sick more expensive as healthier people flee ACA-compliant plans.
“The White House’s action today threatens to make health insurance more expensive and less stable,” Hickenlooper said. “It sabotages the protections many Coloradans rely upon and makes it easier for insurance companies to deny Coloradans the care they need. This order will destabilize health insurance for small businesses, ultimately resulting in higher premiums.”
Trump’s actions follow months of inaction by Congress, as Republicans repeatedly tried and failed to repeal and replace the ACA.
“We urge the administration and Congress to end partisan efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and work across the aisle, and with governors, to find real solutions so that families and small businesses have access to affordable quality health care,” Hickenlooper added.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet blasted both moves on Twitter:
— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) October 13, 2017
Even Republicans joined in criticizing the move. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida congresswoman, pointed to Trump’s campaign promise of affordable health care for everyone:
Cutting health care subsidies will mean more uninsured in my district. @potus promised more access, affordable coverage. This does opposite.
— Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (@RosLehtinen) October 13, 2017