Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Past health chiefs: insurance market stability is the goal

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. 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.

Stability should be the immediate goal, said 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...