Trump makes pro-insurance company changes to Obamacare

Owen Stevens
April 18, 2017

The move follows the withdrawal by Trump and House Republicans late last month of a bill to repeal and replace the legislation better known as Obamacare, after Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan failed to secure the necessary votes in the Republican-controlled House.

Ensure More Choices for Consumers: For the 2018 plan year and beyond, the final rule allows issuers additional actuarial value flexibility to develop more choices with lower premium options for consumers, and to continue offering existing plans.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service.

The Trump administration has indicated that the payments will continue as long as the case is being litigated, but insurers want more of an assurance that these subsidies will be available next year.

WERTHEIMER: Julie, what does it mean that President Trump then ordered federal agencies to reduce the burdens of the health law. Congress needs to act to fund the cost-sharing subsidies, however, she said.

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) - Limited fixes to the shaky health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act were rolled out by the Trump administration on Thursday. A U.S. District Court judge found that Congress did not specifically authorize the payments, making the expenditure unconstitutional.

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Republicans are betting that Democrats will take the blame for the fallout if the subsidies are withheld and ObamaCare falls apart, but a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that voters would place blame on Trump and the GOP, according to The Hill.

"What I think should happen - and will happen - is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating", he said. The same people who wanted to kill Obama Care did not understand until the push was on that it was the plan that saved them, yes that dreaded, Obama who dared to become President, had kept some of them on the only insurance they have ever been able to get.

The cost-sharing subsidies are expected to be worth $9 billion in 2017.

To hear President Trump and Republican leadership right after this happened, that first attempt was the only chance they would ever have at healthcare reform, with lawmakers now forced to move on to tax reform. AHIP is among the organizations that signed the letter to Trump. The AHCA claimed to require coverage for "pre-existing conditions" but in fact, healthy people could opt out of more expensive parts of insurance leaving their neighbors, who had the misfortune to have a chronic or life-threatening illness, to pay premiums that were unaffordable. Or if you filed for bankruptcy or if the cheapest health plan available to you would cost more than 8 percent of your income - and there are lot more exemptions. The rule cuts that percentage to 66%, which could lower premiums but increase out-of-pocket costs by as much as $1,000 a year. Because the Obamas and their entourage flew on small planes, the cost of that trip was relatively low. At the same time, the future of a projected $10 billion in payments for next year have been cast in doubt, due to a lawsuit by House Republicans that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the funding. These "Cost-Sharing Reductions" - CSRs - cover about 7 million Americans with incomes less than 250 percent of poverty (under $30,150 for an individual). The Trump administration is reportedly divided on the next steps to take. So the only real change that's been made so far is that the IRS has said that they wouldn't send your return back if you didn't check that box saying whether or not you had health insurance.

The rules, published Thursday [March 13] by the Department of Health and Human Services, include shortening the health law's sign-up season and limiting exceptions that let people enroll for plans outside the regularly allotted period.

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