Local reaction to Pres. Trump's orders on health care

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Update: 10/13/2017 5:30 P.M.

It was in anticipation of President Trump's announcements Thursday, that West Virginia's largest member of the health care exchange says it announced a 25% increase in rates for its members in the coming year.

Another reason, says Highmark West Virginia, is uncertainty about the health care system in the immediate future.

"In insurance markets, stability is good," says Highmark President Jim Fawcett. "And this has not been a stable market for us. So right now, we're focusing on what we're doing for January 1, 2018, and I don't think I can possibly forecast at this time what could possibly happen beyond 2018."

Perhaps part of that uncertainty is plans by several states to go to court over the president's announced plans to do away with subsidies for providers who are part of the ACA.

A vocal critic locally, the Rev. Janice Hill, of the First Christian Church in Parkersburg, has a daughter who is a recovering cancer patient.

She had a statement for President Trump, about how to go forward in fixing Obamacare.

"If you could support bi-partisan efforts to show how you could do a better job than the previous administration. Please don't side with the greedy insurance companies. Side with the veterans and middle America who desperately need this."


10/12/2017

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that aims to make lower-premium health care plans available to more Americans.

The president says the order will provide what he calls "Obamacare relief" for millions of Americans.

Trump is relying on the executive order because the Republican-controlled Congress has been unable to pass a plan to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law.

Trump says the health care system "will get better" with his action, and the action will cost the federal government nothing.

The president says he still wants Congress repeal and replace the Obama health care law. But his says his order will give people more competition, more choices and lower premiums.


3:38 a.m.

President Donald Trump has made no secret he's frustrated with the failure of Congress to repeal and replace "Obamacare."

Now Trump will try to put his own stamp on health care with an executive order that aims to make lower-premium insurance plans available to more consumers. He will unveil his plan Thursday.

Administration officials say it will let groups and associations sponsor coverage that can be marketed across the land, reflecting Trump's longstanding belief that interstate competition will lead to lower premiums.

Trump's move is likely to encounter opposition from medical associations, consumer groups and even insurers - the same coalition that has blocked congressional Republicans. They say it would raise costs for the sick, while the lower-premium coverage for healthy people would come with significant gaps.


The Rev. Janice HIll of the First Christian Church in Parkersburg, has been among those vocally opposed to changes proposed in recent House and Senate bills.

Rev. Hill had not seen the substance of the President's executive order when we contacted her Thursday, but says she's concerned about it, considering the recent bills that did not make it through the Senate contained provisions she and others believe would leave West Virginians without health care.

A local businessman, however, is thrilled the President's executive order addresses the ability for small businesses ot offer health care insurance to their employees.

"Any time you have an opportunity to buy insurance as a group, rather than as an individual, it certainly is advantageous," says Roger Conley, President and CEO of Conley Fabricating near Mineral Wells. "Allowing us to go across state lines to get competitive rates certainly is advantageous. It sounds like a no-brainer and a win for all of us."

The group "Protect our Care" issued a statement vowing the courts, Congress and the American people will have the opportunity to be heard on the matter as well.


Here is a statement from U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on Trump's executive order on health care:

“Instead of employing backdoor tactics meant to undermine important healthcare protections, President Trump should come to the table with members of both parties to pursue meaningful healthcare reform that benefits Ohioans. We should be taking steps to stabilize insurance markets, extend funding for CHIP, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and combat the addiction epidemic. Instead, President Trump continues to pursue harmful action to destabilize the insurance market and increase costs for Ohio families.”



 
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