Published: Mon, October 16, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Trump administration ending ACA cost-sharing subsidies

Trump administration ending ACA cost-sharing subsidies

On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order directing three federal departments to consider making regulations to expand access to lower-cost, less comprehensive health care plans, which health policy experts have warned could undermine the individual insurance marketplaces.

In a conference call with reporters, Connecticut State Attorney General George Jepsen called the move by President Trump illegal, mean-spirited and damaging to working families who need the subsidies to be able to afford healthcare. Though envisioned by the original Obamacare law, the payments were left up to the annual appropriations process.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson say the effect in Minnesota is smaller than other states; just under 11,000 Minnesotans get subsidized health insurance through MNsure since the majority of low income workers use MinnesotaCare. The Fort Pierce, Florida, barber benefits from the deductible and co-pay discounts, as do more than 1 million other Floridians, the highest number of cost-sharing beneficiaries of any state.

Alexander and Murray, D-Wash., have been in negotiations over ways to stabilize the ACA markets ever since Republicans failed in their bid to repeal, nearly outright, the 2010 health law in late July.

Rep. Mark Walker, chair of the Republican Study Committee, made it clear that House conservatives are not prepared to vote for a deal.

Trump's move makes good on his vow to move quickly to dismantle Obamacare, given the congressional impasse over legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 law.

While she earns too much to benefit from the cost-sharing subsidy, she is anxious that monthly premiums will rise so high in the future that it will make insurance unaffordable.

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"What the president is doing is affecting the ability of vulnerable people to receive health care right now".

Insurers have chafed at characterizations of the payments as a windfall or bailout, saying they serve as a pass-through for a payment mechanism written into the 2010 law. The subsidies have been the subject of an ongoing legal battle because the health care law failed to include a congressional appropriation, which is required before federal money can be spent.

Schneiderman said ending the subsidies is an attempt by Trump to "blow up" the nation's health care system.

A Republican-appointed federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled against Mr. Obama, and the case now sits with an appeals court - though the lower-court judge allowed the payments to be made while the appeal is continuing.

All of this is likely to come to a head in the December negotiations over funding federal agencies, one of several combustible issues that Trump and lawmakers must deal with or else risk shutting down the federal government in the holiday season. "I wonder if he even knows what that path is, because, from what he says, it doesn't sound like he has knowledge, knows the facts", she said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanapolous".

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said Mr. Trump had no choice but to halt the payments after Mr. Obama ignored Congress and was rebuked by the courts. They have the signature of the president.

Without the payments, insurers say, they would increase premiums, which would further upend the shaky economic underpinning of the Affordable Care Act.

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