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Reed calls on Trump Administration to continue health insurance cost-sharing payments

03 Août 2017

It's a critical part of the individual insurance markets that were set up under the Affordable Care Act.

The hearings will start the week of September 4. But since their salaries are too high to get subsidies for premiums, the Obama White House allowed them and members of their staffs to receive funds to purchase insurance on the District of Columbia exchange.

"It could be disastrous", said Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute who specializes in Congress.

Health-policy experts and insurance companies often cite uncertainty over the payments as the biggest danger to the short-term future of the individual insurance markets established by the ACA, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare. This is about $8 billion that the federal government sends to insurance companies to offset the copays and deductibles that low-income patients on the Obamacare marketplaces have.

Trump put the payments in question with a series of Twitter posts over the weekend, suggesting he might withhold them as leverage over Congress for failure to pass legislation repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, the vehicle for the subsidies.

The realities of politics and human behavior being what they are, it is time for US senators - and President Donald Trump - to take a break from attempts to reform health insurance.

But these payments aren't created to compensate insurers for business failures. Yes, people who have to buy insurance who otherwise wouldn't end up spending money they'd prefer not to.

"Outside Of Washington, There Is A New Vital Center In Health Care Reform":"Republican public officials continue to spotlight what they perceive as the disappointment of Americans with ACA coverage, but the reality is that the most dissatisfied are those who lack government insurance". Trump has speculated that he could force Democrats to make a deal on health care by stopping the payments. "Most staff are underpaid already", he said.

"Abortion rights are inextricably tied to the fight against economic and racial inequity, full stop, and until all leaders of our party fully understand that we're going to keep losing". But even if the president won't catch the industry off guard, he can still do enormous damage to the insurance markets.

A federal appeals court has granted a request from 16 attorneys general to allow them to intervene in a long-running legal challenge to billions of dollars in federal subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act. They are required to do so by a provision in the health law itself.

Meantime his negativity about insurance companies raises a different matter entirely. Seemingly small administrative tweaks in how the rules are enforced could cause problems for millions of people as well. The harsh political reality is that Obamacare brought health insurance to millions of families.

The subsidy came from the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

The lesson of Minnesota and OH is similar: Obamacare can work when the people running it want it to work.

Insurers across the country must decide in the next month whether to participate in the individual marketplaces and finalize their rates for 2018.

That means subsidies will have to rise for many people to meet those higher premiums.

Members of the National Governors Association, led by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), on Wednesday warned ending the payments would be a mistake.

"That's exactly what I'm afraid of", Miller said in an interview. In the case of Obamacare, lawmakers ended up with gold-plated coverage and a hefty government subsidy of roughly 75 percent of the monthly premium thanks to some deft maneuvering by Congress.

Last year, a federal judge sided with the House, but let the subsidies continue while the Obama administration appealed the decision. He said in a statement the Trump administration "has a basic obligation to make sure our health care system works well and I will hold them accountable for doing just that".

Reed calls on Trump Administration to continue health insurance cost-sharing payments