CBO Says Trump Administration Refusal to Pay ACA Cost Sharing Reduction Payments Would Cause Health Care Premiums to Spike

CBO Says Trump Administration Refusal to Pay ACA Cost Sharing Reduction Payments Would Cause Health Care Premiums to Spike

Insurers Would Exit Marketplaces, Leaving Many People Without Options

Washington – If the Trump administration refuses to fund the Affordable Care Act’s provisions that ensure lower costs for low-income individuals, premiums will spike by 20 percent next year for the majority of patients and insurers will leave the marketplace, according to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

“The ACA’s cost sharing reduction payments are key to ensuring robust participation by insurers in the ACA insurance exchanges,” said National Health Law Program (NHeLP) Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor. “The CBO report underscores what we have known for some time – the Trump administration’s threats to stop reimbursing insurers for reducing costs for low income people are a cynical effort to sabotage the ACA. There is no other justification for the action, as the cost of the resulting higher premiums will increase the federal deficit by almost $200 billion.”

Taylor added, “If Trump moves forward on stopping the payments required by the ACA to insurers, it will result in a major premium hike for some of the most vulnerable populations in the country, and the uncertainty it creates for insurers will cause many to leave the marketplace. Even Republican Senator Lamar Alexander has said, ‘Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt.'”

“Not making the cost-sharing reduction payments is part of this administration’s callous strategy of undermining the ACA and trying to blame it on the law itself and his political enemies,” Taylor continued. “The Trump administration came into office and immediately stopped promoting ACA enrollment, cut the periods for enrollment, and has used money to produce anti-ACA propaganda for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Instead of trying to sabotage our health care system, Trump and his allies in Congress should work on behalf of all individuals and communities to ensure a strong health care system. Trump should reverse course and commit his administration to following the law of the land.”

Please contact NHeLP’s Director of Communications Jeremy Leaming for additional comment about the CBO report.

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