President Trump’s decision to end the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance subsides effectively destabilized an already volatile market and threatened to revoke access to affordable health care from millions of Americans. While a majority of Republicans lauded Trump’s executive order, a predictable few broke with the party.
House Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was one of the first to call out how harmful Trump’s cessation of the cost-sharing subsidies was for low-income earning Americans. “Cutting health care subsides will mean more uninsured in my district,” she wrote a few hours after the executive order was announced. “[Trump] promised more access, affordable coverage. This does the opposite.”
On Sunday’s morning talk shows, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Ohio Gov. John Kasich quite candidly criticized Trump’s assault on the ACA. Collins criticism, though unsurprising, rung the loudest considering her Senate colleagues are capable of passing a legislative solution for the annulled subsides.
“What the president is doing is affecting the ability of vulnerable people to receive health care right now,” Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Americans who earn lower-incomes, Collins added, would be hurt the hardest.
“These certainly are very disruptive moves that will result in smaller numbers of people being insured, that will make it more difficult for low-income people to afford their out-of-pocket costs and that will destabilize the insurance markets,” she said.
Kasich, who has consistently censured Trump’s assault on health care, was less reserved in his criticism on Sunday. Speaking to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, the Ohio governor slammed Republicans for their blind allegiance to Trump — even if it hurts their constituents.
“What I don’t understand, Chuck, is what are they doing?” Kasich asked. “Are they just passing these things and people are praising what the president did because of politics? I mean, do they understand the impact that this has on families, on people?”
Many Republicans have attempted to defend Trump’s decision by describing the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction payments as a “bailout” for insurance companies — which is an objective lie peddled by the Trump administration that Kasich also called out.
“These were payments to insurance companies to make sure that hardworking Americans, who don’t make a lot of money, can have their co-payments taken care of,” Kasich added. “It’s a shame on everybody. And who gets hurt? People. And it’s just outrageous.”
As The New York Times noted, cost-sharing subsides are available to Americans who earn between $12,060 to $30,150 a year as an individual.
Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval also joined the chorus of criticism, as he did when GOP senators sought to jam through a now-failed repeal bill. In an interview with The Nevada Independent on Friday morning, Sandoval described Trump’s executive order in the bleakest of terms.
“It’s going to hurt people. It’s going to hurt kids. It’s going to hurt families. It’s going to hurt individuals. It’s going to hurt people with mental health issues. It’s going to hurt veterans. It’s going to hurt everybody,” Sandoval said.