Insurers seek stability as Trump delays health care decision

Olive Rios
May 24, 2017

On Monday, Democratic lawmakers held a series of news conference across MI touting a "Health Care Bill of Rights.: The resolution would require insurers to continue key Obamacare provisions, even if the law is repealed".

Jennifer Haberkorn, senior healthcare reporter for Politico Pro, discusses the plan being considered by Senate Republicans, and the CBO's findings of the healthcare bill.

This uncertainty is evidence "of the consequences for Republicans of trying to move as quickly as possible" to pass the Obamacare replacement, said Molly Reynolds, a congressional specialist at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "In 2018 and '19, we'd basically be a rescue team to make sure people can buy insurance". Without the payments, Republicans could be blamed for a mass exodus of insurers from the Obamacare marketplace next year, potentially leaving many of their constituents without any options.

Senate Republicans face increasing pressure to rescue health insurance markets and protect coverage for millions of Americans amid growing fears the Trump administration is going let the markets collapse.

Regulators, health insurers and other independent experts say stabilizing insurance markets actually would be relatively straightforward. It's perhaps the part of Obama's law that Republicans most detest.

On Thursday, more than a dozen Democratic state attorneys general sought to intervene in the case due to concerns that the Trump administration is seeking to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. "Instead of hemming and hawing, they ought to step up to the plate and say once and for all that they will make these payments permanently, which help millions of Americans pay less for their healthcare".

Decisions await on helping states subsidize people with costly medical conditions and keeping insurers from fleeing unprofitable markets. Those numbers will give senators a starting point and could be a big deal. Many GOP lawmakers have been confronted at town-hall meetings by angry constituents who oppose a repeal, though, and a CBO analysis of an earlier version of the House bill said 24 million people would lose insurance in 10 years.

Trump and Republicans are likely to suffer political fallout from higher Obamacare rates next year, Slavitt said. Democrats targeted both reductions as unfair. It's just a sixth of the economy and the House has never passed such a massive bill under budget reconciliation without getting a CBO score, but the fact that he did that and that because of it the House might have to vote again? That would be a major problem for the GOP, which nudged the measure through the House by four votes.

Slavitt on Monday tweeted that a "19% Trump surcharge will be baked into 2018 premiums", which are being proposed in coming weeks because insurers will factor the uncertainty about the subsidies into their plan prices.

Congress approved special rules that will block Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to kill the health bill.

AHIP, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, BlueCross BlueShield Association and others, wrote a letter to Senate leaders on Friday asking lawmakers to guarantee the subsidies will be funded through 2018.

Put another way, the idea of Congress setting aside money for the CSRs - making the ruling moot - is still on the table and thus a delay in a formal ruling was needed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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