Cutting Obamacare subsidies will mostly hurt Trump voters

Donald Trump has decided to cut the federal subsidies that helped make the insurance premiums on the health exchanges more affordable. But the people who will be most adversely affected by this move tend to live in states that voted for Trump last year.

Nearly 70 percent of those benefiting from the so-called cost-sharing subsidies live in states Trump won last November, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. The number underscores the political risk for Trump and his party, which could end up owning the blame for increased costs and chaos in the insurance marketplace.

The subsidies are paid to insurers by the federal government to help lower consumers’ deductibles and co-pays. People who benefit will continue receiving the discounts because insurers are obligated by law to provide them. But to make up for the lost federal funding, health insurers will have to raise premiums substantially, potentially putting coverage out of reach for many consumers.

Some insurers may decide to bail out of markets altogether.

Why do something that hurts his own supporters? One reason of course is that he does not care who gets hurt by his actions. Trump seems to have decided to go on a rampage against everything that his predecessor Barack Obama did as president because that seems to play well with his base even though they may belatedly realize that they are hurting themselves. He has also decided to not re-certify the Iran nuclear deal despite the fact that Iran has kept its end of the arrangement and the other negotiating partners to the deal want it to continue. It also helps to distract from his many failures as president and the many reports that he is held in extremely low esteem even by members of his own cabinet and party.

But the health care subsidy cuts may not work in his favor. Given that health care premiums were rising anyway because of the bloated and inefficient system that the US has, he could have blamed the rise on the failure of Obamacare. But with this move, any increase in premiums or cuts in coverage can be blamed on Trump’s actions, even if some of it may have happened anyway.

Trump’s move concerned some Republicans, worried the party will be blamed for the effects on consumers and insurance markets.

“I think the president is ill-advised to take this course of action, because we, at the end of the day, will own this,” Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said Friday on CNN. “We, the Republican Party, will own this.”

Dent is not running for re-election.

It seems like only those Republicans not running for office feel free to speak out against Trump’s actions, while the rest either cower in fear or are true loyalists.


  1. robert79 says

    I seem to remember, about a year back, seeing some twitter exchange linked on FtB where some right wing nut was flailing against Obamacare. He claimed abolishing it wouldn’t affect him, because he was safely insured under the Affordable Care Act.

    Basically, the Republicans are taking advantage of their more gullible constituents. When things go bad, they’ll claim the Democrats were playing dirty political games. Calls to “drain the swamp” will get louder, and eventually Trump v2.0 gets elected.

  2. rpjohnston says

    Certainly, the Right won’t connect their actions to the consequences, and Republican propaganda will ensure they blame Democrats and continue to throw grenades at their own feet. The idea that the Right will wise up and become decent human beings is a fantasy.

    A sufficient mortality gap between the Right and the Left may be enough to swing some elections, though. Is there any analysis yet that’s been done yet to see if this will result in an appreciably more favorable ratio of living voters? I highly doubt it, but I can’t even make an educated guess, so I’d like to know…

  3. WhiteHatLurker says

    I’m reasonably certain the cited exchange was a hoax. A very humorous hoax!

    The answer was the one provided by Tillerson. Your president isn’t awfully smart, despite his protests of having a high I.Q. (I disbelieve that claim, my default position being that anything Tump says is a lie.)

  4. says

    The international damage Donald is doing to your country is immeasurable. The Iran deal, NAFTA, the Paris Agreement -- if nothing the US signs is worth the paper it’s printed on, other nations aren’t going to be in a hurry to sign anything new.

  5. Mark Dowd says

    I’m reasonably certain the cited exchange was a hoax. A very humorous hoax!

    I wish with all of my heart that I could share in your optimism. But then I remember that a sizeable portion of this country believe that Obama fumbled the response to Hurricane Katrina, something that I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT FUCKING PARTY YOU’RE REGISTERED WITH, THAT’S NOT EVEN FUCKING POSSIBLE!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?!?!?!?

    A scarily large part of this country is FUCKING NUTS. It’s far beyond an echo chamber at this point, so many of them just live a constant psychotic hallucination jacked up by years of deliberate lies fed to them to validate their pre-existing prejudices. They are the victims of an intense and persistent collective gaslighting campaign. Reality no longer just has a liberal bias, reality is fake news.

    I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if we can even recover. This is my first time living through something like this and it’s FUCKING TERRIFYING.

  6. Curious Digressions says

    Trump once boasted that he could shoot someone and not lose voters. Seriously. What he should have said was that he could shoot his voters and only lose the number of voters he shot. People don’t care what he does or says. They’ll support him as long as he winks at them for saying the n** word and justifies grabbing chicks by the pussy. There is literally nothing he could do to make them stop supporting him, because his is horrible in the same way his supporters are horrible.

  7. Matt G says

    It’s What’s the Matter with Kansas all over again. Or should I say still. Support for him is mostly irrational/emotional. Hate the right people and they will follow you to the end of the earth.

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