It is a tribute to the resilience of the United Statesâ€™ public and private institutions that, despite President Donald Trumpâ€™s incoherent management, the country has, by many measures, continued to improve, notching its lowest unemployment rate since 2000 in the latest federal employment update. But the effects of the presidentâ€™s underinformed instincts, enabled by the ideologues in his administration, are beginning to show up in some of the numbers, representing real pain that Americans are suffering for Trumpâ€™s deficient leadership. The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation focused on health-care issues, announced last week that the rate of working-age Americans without health insurance in the groupâ€™s annual survey rose to 15.5 percent, up about three percentage points since 2016. Things are worse in the 19 holdout states, such as Virginia, that have refused to expand their Medicaid programs.
Obamacare critics regularly describe all problems as the inevitable result of a poorly designed law. But the numbers suggest that the criticsâ€™ sabotage efforts are to blame. After impressive declines during President Barack Obamaâ€™s second term, the fund found that the uninsured rate increased in both of the years Trump has been in office.
Obamacare was never perfect. But Commonwealth Fund analysts noted that, rather than fixing the lawâ€™s problems, Republicans have done concrete things to worsen them.
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, admitted last week that repealing the lawâ€™s requirement that all Americans carry health coverage means that â€śyouâ€™ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently that drives up the cost for other folks within that market.â€ť
States must do their best to fill gaps. They can establish reinsurance programs, impose individual mandates within their own borders and run open-enrollment advertising campaigns of their own.
The Washington Post