Former health chiefs to Trump: Avoid new ‘Obamacare’ crisis

Donald Trump
FILE - In this July 24, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about healthcare in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. People buying individual health care policies would face sharply higher premiums, and some may be left with no insurance options if President Donald Trump makes good on his threat to stop "Obamacare" payments to insurers, congressional experts said Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Don’t make things worse.

That’s the advice of former U.S. health secretaries of both parties to President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress, now that “Obamacare” seems here for the foreseeable future.

Stability should be the immediate goal, say former Health and Human Services secretaries Kathleen Sebelius, Mike Leavitt, and Tommy Thompson.

At minimum: Dispel the political and legal uncertainty – fueled by presidential tweets – around billions in subsidies for consumers’ insurance copays and deductibles.

The 2018 sign-up season for subsidized private health plans starts Nov. 1, with about 10 million people currently served through HealthCare.gov and its state counterparts.

The three former officials shared their views with The Associated Press.

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