October 16, 2017

After Donald Trump rescinded the subsidies for millions of working-class Americans, Fox quickly trotted out Betsy McCaughey, a health care “expert” with a long record of misinforming, to suggest that Trump’s sabotage was no big deal.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in April on the effects of ending the cost-sharing reduction payments of the Affordable Care Act, which is what Trump did on Friday:

Many insurers might react to the end of subsidy payments by exiting the ACA marketplaces. If insurers choose to remain in the marketplaces, they would need to raise premiums to offset the loss of the payments.


We estimate that the increased cost to the federal government of higher premium tax credits would actually be 23% more than the savings from eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments. For fiscal year 2018, that would result in a net increase in federal costs of $2.3 billion. Extrapolating to the 10-year budget window (2018-2027) using CBO’s projection of CSR payments, the federal government would end up spending $31 billion more if the payments end.

Cavuto began his interview with McCaughey by noting concern that Trump’s move could “implode the markets.” But before he finished his first question, she interrupted to deflect from any thoughts about the harmful effects of Trump’s move on the insurance markets. Because Obama!

MCCAUGHEY: Let’s be clear what they are. First of all, the president hasn’t said that he will discontinue the subsidies to help people pay premiums when they buy Obamacare plans. Those subsidies, about $44 billion a year, are authorized and appropriated by Congress and they will continue. So people who go to the Obamacare exchanges this year to buy their plans will be as eligible as they previously were.

What he’s talking about is a different subsidy, a much smaller one but still a whopping big one seven to eight billion dollar a year that has never been authorized and appropriated by Congress. So it would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution for the president to continue to spend that money.

President Obama spent that money in defiance of Congress and against the Constitution.

McCaughey claimed she was “not arguing about” whether insurance companies should get the subsidy but, supposedly, only about the Constitution. “The beef isn’t with Donald Trump,” she said, suggesting that any problems that may arise out of his actions will be Obama’s fault. “I wouldn’t recommend that the president break Article II of the Constitution and seize authority that belongs to Congress under Article I.

McCaughey concluded by ignoring the increased costs to the federal government as the result of Trump’s move. “The president would argue that this is throwing bad money after good,” she misleadingly said. “Because this system is collapsing.”

The system was not collapsing, though who knows what will happen now.

Nevertheless, Cavuto neither corrected McCaughey nor noted her omissions and distortions.

Watch Fox show preference for wrecking Americans’ health insurance over challenging Trump above, from the October 13, 2017 Your World.

Crossposted at News Hounds.
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Ed. note: McCaughey has been lying about health policy on behalf of Big Pharma, who pays her, since at least the Clinton Health Care plan of 1993.

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