Despite the intention to sell health insurance across state lines, many don’t forecast dropping rates.
President Donald Trump spoke before Congress for the first time and reaffirmed his intention for a new Trump health care system. Among the primary changes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would be the ability for health insurance companies to sell policies across state lines.
That said, many analysts are doubtful that this change to the law will reduce health insurance premiums.
The actual details of a future Trump health care reform still have yet to be revealed, despite prior promises that it wouldn’t be long and that the president’s teams were hammering out the final details. During the joint session of Congress, Trump said “The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines –- creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care.”
That said, according to a Forbes report, analysts are doubtful that insurance companies will be interested in spending the money it would take to make that strategy more successful than the current system.
The Trump health care plan wouldn’t be the first time insurers have been allowed to sell across state lines.
The Forbes article pointed out that health insurance companies have previously had opportunities to sell across state lines in certain states and this didn’t have a positive impact on reducing costs or rates. The reason was that it turned out to be costly for insurers to form contracts with a new list of hospitals and doctors.
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The Center for Health and Economy wrote a response to Trump’s health plan, saying that “even where [cross-state-line selling] is allowed, various barriers such as the difficulty of building a network and attracting enough customers to create a large enough risk pool make it unappealing to insurers to pursue this option.”
It will now be up to the president and his administration to prove these analysts wrong. The Trump health care concept has already been likened to “your dad in a thong,” by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight. As Oliver pointed out, the president has yet to provide any details regarding the specifics of the repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The public has heard only references to general concepts such as tax credits, reduced premiums, and coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
President Trump conceded that the reforming the health care system is “unbelievably complex” and that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” Oliver’s report suggests otherwise and that the awareness of the degree of complexity of the American health care system and the Affordable Care Act may have been well known for quite some time. The country is now carefully watching to see what Trump health care alternatives will be put into place for this system of tremendous complexity.