Monday, July 31, 2017

Lawsuit may force Trump Administration to pay billions to Obamacare insurers.

Courtesy of Politico: 

A pending court decision could force the Trump administration to pump billions of dollars into Obamacare insurers, even as the president threatens to let the health care law “implode.” 

Health insurers have filed nearly two dozen lawsuits claiming the government owes them payments from a program meant to blunt their losses in the Obamacare marketplaces. That raises the prospect that the Trump administration will have to bankroll a program the GOP has pilloried as an insurer bailout.

Insurers are owed more than $8 billion in payments, and the tab is likely to grow. Insurers say spending restrictions Republicans forced on the “risk corridors” program during the Obama administration, aside from being illegal, are partly to blame for severe turbulence in some Obamacare marketplaces. 

“[The Obama administration] repeatedly assured us it was there and it would be a clear obligation of the government,” said Tom Policelli, CEO of Minuteman Health, which is among the insurers suing the government over the shortfall. “Even the federal government is subject to the rules.” 

The fiscal hit to the feds could be huge if the insurers win. And it would be one more embarrassing setback for Republicans, who likely saw their best shot at dismantling Obamacare slip away in the Senate’s failed repeal vote early Friday morning. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has threatened to pull billions in funding from a separate Obamacare subsidy program he's labeled a "bailout" for insurers.

The Trump Administration seems blissfully unaware that until the law is changed they are on the hook for keeping the promises made by Obamacare, and that if they fail to keep them they risk costly lawsuits as well as a cost politically.

Now currently these cases are headed to a three judge panel in Washington, but if the insurers emerge victorious I am positive they will find their way to the Supreme Court.

And what happens there is anybody's guess.


  1. Anonymous6:36 AM

    The republons did everything to block progress by President Obama. Why do working class people vote gop? They could care less about working people, until time to vote. Even then they do not care, since gerrymandering and voter suppression keep them in office. The fact that they are running from their constituents should be proof enough to voters. They try to pass laws, but do not have the courage to face their constituents, to explain WHY they are doing the things they do. They take care of themselves and the rich.

  2. Anonymous6:57 AM

    Lawsuit may force Trump Administration to pay billions -- to pay billions -- to Obamacare insurers.

    Second one OUT. ?

    1. Anonymous10:28 AM

      It better be Trump paying vs him somehow shoving it off to the American taxpayer. Impeach his sorry butt and make him pay where it hurts!

  3. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Let's hope that the insurers prevail .This may be the starting point, for making this wasteful administration accountable!!
    Trump and his thugs have bullied their way on everything !
    It must stop!!
    These bastards will continue , because no consequences !!
    Trump, pence,turtle ,Zink,rian, rid mob thugs first!!

  4. Anonymous8:55 AM

    Our Letters to the President

    There are many things that must go unsaid in the Trump White House. If we could, this is what some of us would say.

    Letter Number One
    Letter Number Two
    Letter Number Three
    Letter Number Four
    Letter Number Five
    Letter Number Six

  5. Anonymous8:59 AM

  6. Anonymous9:01 AM

    Trump wants his supporters to become increasingly angry — so they won’t notice he is a loser

    ...So be prepared for scorched-earth politics from the Oval Office, including more savage verbal attacks on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, more baseless charges of voter fraud in the 2016 election, more specific threats to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, and further escalation of the culture wars.

    Most Americans won’t be swayed by these pyrotechnics because they’ve become inured to our unhinged president.

    But that’s not the point. The rantings are intended to shore up Trump’s “base” – the third of the country that continues to support him, who still believe they’re “victims” of Obamacare, who are willing to believe Trump himself is the victim of a liberal conspiracy to unseat him.

    Trump wants his base to become increasingly angry and politically mobilized so they’ll continue to exert an outsized influence on the Republican Party.

    1. Anonymous10:26 AM

      They can shore up Trump's base, but that is not the majority (he's only showing in the 30+ percentile!). He'll never be reelected and I seriously wonder if he is going to make it through this four-year term. I have my doubts!

      The media continues to hype this and it's disgusting. Pay attention to the actual facts, America!

    2. Anonymous10:36 AM

      "Harvard political scientist Archon Fung has argued, stable democracies require that citizens be committed to the RULE OF LAW "
      "rump has never been committed to the RULE OF LAW. For him, it’s all about winning."
      "In 2014 – even before Trump’s incendiary presidential campaign – 35 percent of Republicans saw the Democratic Party as a “threat to the nation’s well being” and 27 percent of Democrats regarded Republicans the same way, according to the Pew Research Center." If Trump has his way, they’ll be higher still."

  7. Anonymous9:01 AM

    ‘Alzheimer’s like his dad’: Trump mocked for confusing White House with his reality TV show

  8. Anonymous9:02 AM

    From alleged divorces and mistresses, to backroom and overt backstabbing in newspapers, here are just some of the scandals that have plagued the White House and made their way to the headlines in recent months.

  9. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Ex-NSA analyst warns Putin’s latest moves show Trump is ‘expendable’ — and GOP should worry, too

  10. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Employees at Donald Trump’s hotels and other properties were recently given a new legal agreement they have to sign, promising not to divulge any secret information about the Trump family.

    If they don’t sign, “they will lose their jobs,” according to CBS News.

    The nondisclosure agreement says Trump Organization employees have to keep secret any information they learn about the Trump family or “present, former and future spouses, children, parents, in-laws.”

    The agreement, which is designed to last “forever,” also stipulates that if contacted in the course of a government inquiry — like the congressional, special counsel, or FBI investigations currently examining Trump’s Russia connections — the Trump Organization has to be notified if any secret Trump information is passed along.

    The reporting on the new document again highlights Trump’s disregard for ethical standards embraced by both political parties, as he continues to have an ownership stake in his previous company. His son Eric has confirmed that he still briefs his father on company profits and losses, meaning that while Trump is in the Oval Office, he is free to make decisions as president that affect and benefit his own personal bottom line.

    Since being inaugurated, Trump has done just that by making at least 58 visits to Trump properties on the public dime, using the intense media spotlight of the presidency as advertising for his personal ventures.

    Employment law expert Debra Soltis told CBS, “I have reviewed confidentiality agreements in international, family-run hospitality organizations and… I have never seen a loyalty code to a family like this.”

    Trump, through his actions, shows once again who matters when it comes to corruption — not the public good, or the rule of law, but his own personal image and well-being.

    1. Anonymous10:23 AM

      All Trump's misdeeds and illegal action are out there, prevalent and proven! Come on Republicans, get your asses in gear and impeach the jerk! Your party is going to have way less impact once the next election cycle has been completed! The majority of Americans detest ALL Republicans on the national, state and local levels.

  11. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Donald Trump continues frantically reshuffling his advisers like deck chairs on the Titanic

    According to the New York Times, Trump is considering firing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and replacing him with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo (link), which would leave the CIA Director position vacant. According to Newsweek, Trump is also considering firing Steve Bannon (link). Trump is publicly trying to convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, though ABC News belives that Trump might try to shift Sessions to Homeland Security (link). And there’s also widespread buzz that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and to a lesser extent Secretary of State James Mattis, are considering resigning in disgust.

    So as it stands, Donald Trump currently has no FBI Director, he’s about to have no Homeland Security Director, he may soon have no CIA Director, he’s considering getting rid of his National Security Director, he’s trying to get rid of his Attorney General, he may lose his Secretaries of Defense and State, and he’s thinking about doing away with whatever it is that Steve Bannon does. This is precisely what people mean whenever they refer to shuffling the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic.

  12. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Trump risks US being seen as 'kleptocracy', says ex-ethics chief Walter Shaub

  13. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Trump needs to be put on trial, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison and impeachment! The guy is creating nothing but harm to our country and the world. He's the very worst person that should be representing our country.

    Fuck him and his administration - to include Ivanka and his other family members.

  14. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Been thinking a lot about the day that this letter from Ted Kennedy arrived in the White House

  15. Anonymous1:45 PM

    Vladimir Putin to America: You've Let Me Down

    In expelling American diplomatic staff, the Russian president was trying to sound like the one adult in the room, even as he actively makes the situation worse.

    ...Sunday night, Vladimir Putin went on national television and explained his decision to slice American diplomatic staff in Russia by two-thirds. He was retaliating for Barack Obama’s December expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, as well as newly passed congressional sanctions, by kicking out 755 American diplomatic staff—a response over 20 times stronger than Obama’s original retaliation for Russian election meddling. But Putin sounded calm and humble, like a disappointed parent who has no choice left but to send a recalcitrant child to military school. “We were waiting for a long time, thinking that maybe something will change for the better; we kept hope alive that the situation will change,” Putin said. “But judging by everything that’s happened, if something’s going to change, it won’t be soon.”

    This is Putin’s way of dressing up a bad situation: try to sound like the sole adult in the room, even as you actively make the situation worse. It’s what Putin did, for example, in Syria, financing and arming the Assad regime while calling for peace talks, then stalling and dragging them out as long as possible, all while taking the same resigned yet exasperated tone of the peacemaker stymied by unruly children.

    Because the fact is, the situation is bad, for Moscow and for Washington, and it’s been exacerbated by both sides.

    When Obama retaliated in December for Russian election meddling, then-Trump adviser Michael Flynn apparently told the Russians to sit tight because the incoming Trump administration would take care of it. The Russians did as Flynn seems to have advised, and surprised the world by not reacting to Obama’s sanctions. But their patience began to wear thin as the winter turned to spring and then to summer, the months passing and the Trump administration still unable to deliver on its promise. Negotiations between the State Department and the Russian Foreign Ministry broke down earlier this month, with the Russians calling the Americans “highway robbers” and the U.S. government refusing to return two Russian compounds in the States, which intelligence officials say were used almost exclusively for espionage.

    It was a massive loss of face for the Russians, for whom shows of strength drive a lot of policy. “As you know, we have been very restrained and patient, but at some point we’ll have to respond,” Putin said at a press conference last week. “We can’t just tolerate this kind of disrespect towards our country.” The Russians waited seven months for Trump, whose election they had facilitated and cheered in the hopes that he would undo not just the December sanctions but the ones imposed for the 2014 annexation of Crimea as well. At a certain point, their patience had to break from the strain of turning the other cheek—and therefore looking weak.

    1. Anonymous2:22 PM

      This continues to look like Putin/Trump is behind all this drama. We now have Trump not saying much at all while Putin threatens us?Will Trump save our asses negotiating with Putin? Isn't it all just a setup to force the American people to go along with Putins puppet,Or Else! If we sanction Putin it'll cut him off at the knees and he knows it. Here's hoping Putie takes care of the problem and Trumps gets served a "bad" steak.

  16. Anonymous1:51 PM

    “It's an apt and nifty metaphor for President Trump's tweeting — a Gatling Gun is fast, efficient and leaves a lot of destruction in its wake. And once you get the hang of it, you can do it with your eyes closed.”

  17. First Tom Price says he won't let Obamacare implode.

    "Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price denied that Republicans would allow the Affordable Care Act to “implode” to force Democrats to cooperate in repealing and replacing the law, signaling a break with President Trump."

    Then he says he's open to hobbling Obamacare.

    "Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price would not rule out Sunday the possibility of using his regulatory authority to waive the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a tax."

    "Price has already taken action to effectively discourage enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges. Under his leadership, HHS has used funds earmarked for promoting the Affordable Care Act to blast it on social media and downplay the law’s benefits on the federal agency’s website, The Daily Beast reported.

    Price declined to comment on the possibility that HHS would withhold cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers that subsidize exchange plans for Americans with incomes under 250 percent of the federal poverty level. He said his status as the defendant in House Republicans’ lawsuit challenging the payments precluded him from addressing it."

    So basically Price did a 180 and is now going to implement everything Trump threatened to do to destabilize the markets.

    "If, as Republicans claim, the private health insurance system really works, then it’s time for our fine private insurance companies to prove that America needs them, and not a federal single-payer system. You really run the American health care system.

    Fix it."

    "When you need it most, most Americans know that they can’t really count on their health care providers, and that they will have to pay huge out of pocket costs to stay alive. Personal bankruptcy for major illness remains a huge problem with an unmodified ACA."

    "Government is the only agency accountable to all citizens, and where citizens can demand, via elected officials, some accountability for essential services.

    All health care systems have warts. Being tossed from plan to plan by insurers who treat your health care like it was the slot machines in Las Vegas? Is that acceptable to you?

    Will your insurance company keep you from going bankrupt when you have cancer? Pay for years of care when your mom when she has Alzheimer’s? Your kid when they have a spinal deformation? Or will they stop insuring you one day, which is their right, because you don’t meet their demographic. Try to move to a new company without your employer’s good health care for your sick kid?

    It’s time to stop being held hostage. The real right to life in “Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is health care for all. The only real insurer of that happiness is the government that makes that social contract with you, not Anthem, Cigna, or Aetna."


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