Ex-Medicare head says Trump ‘purposely’ raising insurance premiums

Ex-Medicare head says Trump ‘purposely’ raising insurance premiums
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The former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under President Obama blamed President Trump on Friday for rising health-care premiums around the country.

Andy Slavitt, who was acting CMS administrator from 2015 to 2017, accused Trump on Twitter of "purposely raising" health-care premiums as part of his plan to let ObamaCare "implode."

"I ran this government agency under President Obama," Slavitt wrote. "Make no mistake. Trump is purposely raising people's premiums."

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Slavitt was reacting to news reports that Oklahoma's health commissioner was blaming the Trump administration for missing a deadline to approve a waiver for the state, which Oklahoma officials say will mean higher premiums for thousands of residents.

"Three days later, beyond health plan commitment and rate filing deadlines, Oklahoma is forced to withdraw our waiver request due to the failure of departments to provide timely waiver approval," Oklahoma Health Commissioner Terry Cline wrote to administration officials earlier Friday.

"The lack of timely waiver approval will prevent thousands of Oklahomans from realizing the benefits of significantly lower insurance premiums in 2018," the letter added, saying approving the waiver would have helped more than 130,000 Oklahomans and reduced premiums by 30 percent. 

Trump has frequently threatened to end ObamaCare subsidy payments to insurers and let the program "implode" amid GOP efforts this year to repeal the health-care law.

The Oklahoma letter emerged Friday after Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceBottom Line Trump: The solitary executive Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? MORE resigned following reports that his use of military flights and private jets cost more than $1 million since May.