U.S.

Delay in court case deepens health insurance uncertainty

Delay in court case deepens health insurance uncertainty

-Significant federal funding to subsidize premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The Obama Administration appealed the case, and the Trump Administration asked to put the case on hold while it established its position on the matter.

Asked about such statements, White House officials have said no final decisions have been made and the issue remains under evaluation. "Congress could resolve any uncertainty about the payments by passing the AHCA and reforming Obamacare's failed funding structure".

Most people who buy Obamacare plans from government-run health insurance exchanges are insulated to a large degree from price hikes because they are eligible for federal subsidies that lower their monthly premiums. At least one major insurer, Molina, has said it would immediately drop its health care marketplace plans.

While the latest delay is a reprieve for Obamacare, it does little to resolve the underlying uncertainty created by the case and by Republican efforts in Congress to repeal and replace large parts of the law. "It's critical to ensuring overall affordability". The letter says that "uncertainty is undermining the individual insurance market for 2018 and stands to negatively impact millions of people".

Democrats say the solution is to have Congress authorize the payments. Last year, a federal judge ruled in favor of House Republicans, prompting an appeal from the Obama administration, and courts have allowed the money to continue flowing until the appeal is resolved.

The filing today leaves the Trump administration the opportunity to end these subsidies at any moment.

Last week, attorney generals from 15 states, plus the District of Columbia, filed a motion with the Court of Appeals to intervene in the case, arguing that the continued delay is hurting their insurance markets and their residents.




Health insurers were seeking assurances from Verma that the Trump administration would continue to provide the aid, which helps millions of low-income Americans afford their deductibles and co-pays.

President Trump has publicly waffled on whether he will continue the payments.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, criticized the threats to stop the payments.

Because insurers have to finalize their premium requests within the 90-day window of the appeals case, they will not know for sure the fate of the subsidies.

Trump previously threatened to use the CSR payments as a bargaining chip to bring Democrats to the table on health care if Republicans can't muster enough repeal votes in the Senate. "Yeah, it's about making money and providing the service, but it's also about coverage". Congress could eliminate the problem by authorizing the spending, but has refused to do so. "Unless CSRs are funded, a tremendous number of Americans will simply go without coverage and move to the ranks of the uninsured", the groups write. "This threatens not just their own health and financial stability, but also the economic stability of their communities". All consumers have to do is purchase a standard silver-level plan, and no additional paperwork is required. Without them, many insurers have warned they will stop selling plans in 2018.

There could be unintended consequences, as well. If Trump cuts the payments now he could cause Obamacare to collapse but there's little doubt he would be blamed for it.

A district court judge a year ago ruled in favor of the House, finding the subsidies were illegal and must stop.


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