How Much is GOP Willing to Pay to Take the Blame?
Will they crash the individual market while working to replace Obamacare?
Seven billion dollars is the cost for continuing to provide market stabilizing Cost Sharing Reimbursement payments. [The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to discount extra, out-of-pocket expenses like copays and deductibles for people who earn less than $29,700 annually.]
Congress has refused to fund these subsidies — so it is now up to President Trump, his Cabinet and corageous Members of Congress who will stand up to impress upon them that too many Americans lose and they will own the blame.
Republicans consistently raise concerns about the impacts of uncertainty to markets when discussing regulatory reform, tort-reform, etc., but uncertainty is exactly what they are fostering when it comes to the individual insurance marketplace. When Congress refuses to provide long term commitments to funding CSRs — When the President threatens to leverage CSRs to bring Democrats to the table — When HHS Secretary Price refuses to say whether June will mark the end of these subsidies — Providers cannot, with any certainty, determine if they can continue to provide plans or at what price if they do.
All this uncertainty has led Aetna to join a growing list of providers who have run for the exit door. Last week Aetna Inc. announced it will leave the few remaining states where it had been selling Obamacare plans next year, making it the latest health insurer to pull out of the health law.
According to Bloomberg:
The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer already said last year it would pull out of 11 states, and in the last month announced plans to exit Iowa and Virginia.
Obamacare’s markets are becoming increasingly vulnerable as major health insurers exit, citing financial losses.
Obamacare’s problems have been further pushed by Republicans, who are considering legislation in Congress to repeal and replace large portions of the health law, and by President Donald Trump, who has threatened to withhold support from key portions of the law that keep the markets functioning.
From The Hill:
President Trump on Thursday threatened to withhold key payments to insurance companies made under ObamaCare, a move that could throw the market into chaos.
In an interview with The Economist, Trump said he would cut off the cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) — payments that reimburse insurers for providing discounted out-of-pocket costs to help those with low incomes afford insurance.
“[T]here is no Obamacare, it’s dead. Plus we’re subsidizing it and we don’t have to subsidize it. You know if I ever stop wanting to pay the subsidies, which I will,” Trump said. “Anytime I want.”
Insurance companies rely on the payments, and many have said they will be forced to raise premiums or completely drop out of the ObamaCare marketplace if the payments don’t continue.
If Congressmen like Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo, and Senators like Marco Rubio do not stand up for their constituents and all Americans, for that matter, the likelyhood is that the individuals and families receiving these subsidies (1,200,000 in Florida alone) will be joined by the millions who do not have access to employer provided healthcare options in finding absolutely no access to health insurance because those markets will be gone.
@mariodb @RepCurbelo @marcorubio #AHCA