So, let’s suppose that we have President Trump in the White House next January.
Putting your political stance to the side for a moment, we will run through a scenario where he carries through with his much mentioned goal of eradicating Obamacare the moment he takes office.
What happens next?
Well, he can’t undo the fundamental underpinnings of the law right away as that would have to go through a lengthy series of governmental procedures. On the other hand, he could severely damage the law… and frankly it wouldn’t be that hard.
He could simply drop an appeal (of a lawsuit filed by house Republicans) which is currently allowing approximately 20 million low income folks the ability to buy insurance with a government subsidy.
If the appeal is dropped, the government would no longer provide subsidies to health insurance carriers on behalf of low income enrollees. However, health insurance carriers would still have to continue providing their health insurance coverage WITHOUT the benefit of the subsidy.
In other words health carriers would be providing health insurance to low income enrollees at far less than the cost of the coverage.
Once this occurs, all health insurance carriers would immediately drop out of the Federal and State Obamacare exchanges or run the real threat of becoming bankrupt within a matter of months. If the insurance carriers universally drop off of exchange, then the exchanges would no longer exist, effectively killing or at least massively derailing Obamacare.
The less dire path that Trump could do would be to threaten dropping the appeal in order to bring Congress to the table to begin the process of opening up the law to re-organization.
What Trump would offer in place of Obamacare is a bit unclear to all, but perhaps as we get closer to election time it will be revealed.
For a more detailed analysis of the impact of Presidential candidates on the Public Exchanges, see: President Trump Wouldn’t Have to Wait for Congress to Undo Much of the Health Law (Kaiser Health News)