Democrats have wanted for years to expand the Affordable Care Act's premium subsidies. But it took President Trump — and a desire to harm the law — to actually make it happen, as my colleague Caitlin Owens notes this morning.
Trump's decision to end the law's cost-sharing reduction payments prompted insurers to raise their premiums, which in turn raised premium subsidies. That's bad news for the millions of unsubsidized consumers, but good news for the millions of lower-income enrollees who can now find a range of plans with a $0 monthly premium.
Flashback: The irony of all this is that Democrats — including Hillary Clinton — have consistently pushed for increased premium subsidies, albeit in a much more straightforward way. (And of course they also want the government to continue the payments Trump cut off.)
- Congressional Republicans would never have agreed to create more "free" insurance plans on the government's dime. Their repeal-and-replace bills would have substantially reduced the law's premium subsidies.
- "The R's are driving in reverse relative to their repeal dream," Democratic health care strategist Chris Jennings told Caitlin.
Yes, but: "We could spend that extra money we are shelling out today to pay for the excess premiums far more efficiently and get more people covered more affordably," Jennings said.