Trump health order gets mixed Texas review; business group studying it

Henrietta Strickland
October 15, 2017

Trump's administration has had Planned Parenthood in its crosshairs since day one, but what he hadn't counted on was the groundswell of supporters coming out to the organization's defense.

The effect of CSR payment termination, however, will depend heavily on how insurers deal with the change. If the Trump Administration ends critical cost-sharing reduction payments, it is imperative that Congress acts immediately to fund this lifeline for vulnerable Americans.

But Elizabeth Colvin, director of the Insure Central Texas program at Foundation Communities, said the president's actions and rhetoric regarding the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, are contributing to a negative drumbeat that will undermine the upcoming enrollment period for 2018 coverage, which starts in less than three weeks. In 2014, the House of Representatives was forced to sue the previous Administration to stop this unconstitutional executive action. The U.S. maternal mortality ratio is increasing. "Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one". The Obama administration appealed, arguing that there was in fact an appropriation. Under their contract with the federal exchange, insurers may terminate participation if cost sharing reduction payments are terminated, but they are still subject to state laws on market withdrawal, which limit their ability to do so.

According to the administration, this would help people facing soaring premiums.

At the same time, ending the CSR payments would substantially increase the cost to taxpayers over the ten-year window of projection, potentially adding $194 billion, although the timing of the cutoff would slightly alter that projection.

It is unsure how many women will be affected by the new rules, but the New York Times projects almost hundreds of thousands of women will lose these benefits. For more on the different responses insurers may have take, see here. Unfortunately, a decision has been made to stop Federal payments for the cost sharing. For more on the CSR backstory see here and here; for more on the intervention, see here; and for Health Affairs Blog posts on cost-sharing reduction payments, see here. The problems facing the Affordable Care Act require legislative solutions, and short-term decisions about making payments or delaying implementation of different aspects of the law are no substitute.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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