ROCHESTER - Frisbie Memorial Hospital's CEO said on Friday that President Trump's executive decision to halt subsidies to health insurance companies is his way of pushing Democrats and Republicans to put politics aside and fix a failing Obamacare.
"Will it hurt? sure; is there a better solution, maybe," said Frisbie CEO John Marzinzik. "But they have to get in a room and fix the problem, and I think what Trump is trying to do is force that issue to get Republicans and Democrats into a room to build a better health care solution. And I think it's doable."
The subsidies in question help lower-income families with out-of-pocket costs and amount to some $8 billion dollars in taxpayer money every year.
Trump has been allowing the subsidies to continue on a month-to-month basis, but will now cut them off, buttressed by a decision last year by a federal court judge that ruled the subsidies were illegal since Congress holds the treasury's purse strings and never appropriated the money.
Now with just weeks prior to this year's enrollment period, many insurers are scurrying to either refile rates or pull out of hundreds of counties across the country, continuing a trend that has been in effect for several years. Marzinzik, however, said it's too early to say how the subsidies may impact Frisbie.
"It will have an impact," he said, "but to what extent and how different insurance companies will react we don't know.
"But this is problem that needs to be fixed."