Killing Health Care Subsidies Will Hike Health Care Costs for Individuals and Families
Washington – Angry at Congress’s inability to kill the Affordable Care Act, President Trump has taken his most drastic step yet to sabotage the landmark law. After issuing an executive order yesterday to promote so-called health associations – business trade associations that gang together to create cheap and weak health care plans for workers and families – Trump is now cutting off cost-sharing subsidies, which help low-income individuals and families afford health insurance.
In an Oct. 13 statement from the White House Office of the Press Secretary, the administration said it was encouraged by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to stop making cost-sharing reduction payments. The statement notes that House Republicans sued the Obama administration in federal court in the District of Columbia to cut off the subsidies. State attorneys general from numerous states, led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, have intervened in that case, fighting to protect the subsidies–which enable limited income people to afford their medically necessary health care services.
National Health Law Program Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor blasted Trump for an action that will punish low-income individuals and families and make it far more difficult for middle-class families to access vital health care services.
“Candidate Trump ran for the White House promising greater health care coverage for families and that no one would lose health care coverage under his great plan,” Taylor said. “But President Trump has no intention of providing health care for the people of this country. He is proving every day that he is out to reverse the gains made under the ACA, with or without Congress. Today’s action was his cruelest yet. If Congress cannot stop the president from destroying our health care system, it will be up to the judiciary to save it.”
NHeLP Managing Attorney of the D.C. office Mara Youdelman said Trump’s action to stop making the cost-sharing reduction payments could yank nearly $9 billion from the ACA marketplaces, meaning health insurers will have no choice but to hike premiums and make their health plans inaccessible to low-income individuals and people mired in poverty.
“Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who has been working on a bipartisan basis with Senate colleagues to bolster the ACA marketplace had it right when he said that without ‘payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt.’ It is a great tragedy that this president, so bound to the extreme interests of his party, is doing everything he can to kill a landmark health care law that has brought insurance to more 24 million individuals and families. Today’s action means people will have to pay 20 percent more for coverage and some will lose their insurance when they cannot afford the higher costs.”
Please contact NHeLP’s Director of Communications Jeremy Leaming for further comment on the Trump administration’s announcement to end the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction payments.
NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.