It didn’t take much. A simple stroke of the pen. President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday that will stop payments to health insurers that make it possible for lower-income Americans to afford coverage. What does it mean? Here are some thoughts from across the country.
President Trump’s decision Thursday to end subsidy payments to health insurance companies is expected to raise premiums for middle-class families and cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars.
The administration said it would stop reimbursing insurers for discounts on co-payments and deductibles that they are required by law to offer to low-income consumers. The reimbursements are known as cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs.
Insurance companies still have to give the discounts to low-income customers. So if the government doesn’t reimburse the insurers, they’ll make up the money by charging higher premiums for coverage.
According to Fox News, “Trump’s decision was expected to rattle already-unsteady insurance marketplaces. The president has previously threatened to end the payments, which help reduce health insurance copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes, but remain under a legal cloud. Trump has privately told at least one lawmaker that the payments may continue if a bipartisan deal is reached on heath care, The Wall Street Journal reported.”
12News in Phoenix put together a short video on what the decision could mean here in Arizona. You can watch by clicking here or on the picture below.
The bottom line, according to the report, it may be too early to tell what the ramifications may be in our state. However, New York and California are said to be prepared to sue the Trump administration to protect health-care subsides. From TheHill.com:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) said in a statement that hundreds of thousands of New York families rely on ObamaCare’s subsidies for their health care.
“Again and again, President Trump has threatened to cut off these subsidies to undermine our healthcare system and force Congress to the negotiating table,” he said in the statement. “That’s unacceptable.”
Schneiderman said he wouldn’t let Trump use New York families as “political pawns in his dangerous, partisan campaign to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act at any cost.”
All of this is happening just ahead of the six-week ACA enrollment period for 2018 which is scheduled to start on November 1st. The Washington Post wrote that millions of Americans would be shopping for subsidized coverage on Healthcare.gov and other state-run marketplaces during that time.
“Many of them were already facing higher premiums and fewer plan options — and the administration’s move could worsen the situation. Insurers have said halting the CSRs would be the single greatest step the administration could do to undermine the marketplaces.“
Share your thoughts on what this executive order could mean and what it could do to the marketplace here in Arizona. Do you love it, hate it, or are you somewhere in between? Let us know why. Driving dialogue around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!