Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeThe 907That Premera rate decrease in Alaska? It might just hold

That Premera rate decrease in Alaska? It might just hold

Critics said he is trying to sabotage Obamacare, and that he has paid the subsidies for the several months that he has been president, so they ask why he is stopping now.
The answer is likely that Congress didn’t act on reforming the law that has damaged many Americans, so he’s acting.
The Trump Administration, by ending the subsidies to insurance companies, brought the balance between the branches of government.
Last year, a federal judge ruled that Obama had exceeded presidential authority by sending over $7 billion in annual subsidies to health insurance companies. U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer of the District of Columbia agreed with the U.S. House of Representatives, which had sued over Obama paying the subsidies even after Congress had rejected the administration’s request in 2014.

Collyer wrote that for subsidy payments to be constitutional, Congress would have to approve annual appropriations.

The question is whether the subsidies can be funded through a permanent appropriation, as argued by Obama. “It cannot,” Collyer wrote.

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Trump is agreeing with Judge Collyer, that without an annual appropriation, the subsidies have been illegal for years.

“We will discontinue these payments immediately,” said acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan on Thursday.

On Twitter, Trump sent the message: “The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!”

How will that affect Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, the only insurer offering policies on Alaska’s individual health insurance market? When it filed for a 22 percent decrease for purchasers next year, Premera already assumed the subsidies would end.


For the first quarter of 2017 according to Axios, Premera made $27 million in profit. Some $55 million in State money props up Premera in Alaska, covering the costs of the most expensive patients through a unique state-funded reinsurance program. Last year, the nonprofit company made $18 million in profit on Alaska Obamacare enrollees, but it has suffered losses in prior years.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Obamacare is and was always unconstitutional. The people of the United States should be able to buy health insurance like they do car insurance or cell phone coverage, meaning across state lines and based solely on rates, competitiveness, and quality of care and coverage. We buy car insurance and cell phone coverage based on the free market and can move around with our coverage. Government needs to be out of the health insurance arena completely. Let the free market prevail. Trump needs to listen to Senator Rand Paul on this one. If I were Rand, I would demand a hard repeal immediately through executive order. In fact, I’m more of a hard liner on this and believe we need a hard repeal of Obamacare and no replacement. If government were to get involved in this mess again, which it should not at all costs, Rand Paul so far has the best option available for replacement of ACA. This is a better solution than any of the do nothing Republicans have produced so far in the house and senate. This is a perfect reason to introduce a term limits amendment in congress, so we can boot out the establishment do nothing RINO’s and Democraps.

  2. Seems lately, probably out of frustration with dead locked Congress, there are many attempts to get things done in mutiple subject areas with disregard for Constitutional concerns & the balance of power. As frustrating as it is to see nothing happen in an environment where decisions do need to be made, disregarding Constitutional limitations is a bad road to travel. In fact, its potentially a very dangerous road. Once you justify a breech for “good cause” it’s open season. If Congress is dead locked there must be a reason. And its probably related to strong views on all sides about how to proceed. When that occurs compromise must be reached or we have deadlock. Sometimes though, maybe deadlock with no result is better than having an unpopular decision rammed down the throat of 50% of the people. That’s a receipe for even more discontent.

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