Trump administration freezes Obamacare funds

Trump administration freezes Obamacare funds

Once again, the Trump administration has taken an axe to the Affordable Care Act, temporarily suspending a program that was set to pay out $10.4 billion to insurers for covering high-risk individuals a year ago. Citing conflicting federal court decisions on the program, the CMS said it can not collect or disburse funds under the risk-adjustment program. Payments for 2017 are $10.4 billion. "It enables the country to move away from a market where plans compete to avoid covering or charge more to people with preexisting health conditions, to one where competition is based on quality, affordable care for everyone". "As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said.

In January this year, the federal district judge in MA upheld the methodology used by the federal government to calculate risk adjustment payments.

President Donald Trump's administration has used its regulatory powers to undermine the ACA on multiple fronts after the Republican-controlled Congress past year failed to repeal and replace the law propelled by Democratic President Barack Obama.

"The federal government's decision to suspend payment transfers under the ACA's risk adjustment program could have a significant impact on premiums and place an additional burden on people in the community who can least afford it", CareFirst's president and CEO, Brian Pieninck, said in a statement.

The Trump administration's move "will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small business owners and could result in far fewer health plan choices", association president Scott Serota said in a statement. "It will allow more companies to get into the insurance market". Through the program, roughly 20 million Americans have received health care coverage.


Trump administration officials said they were forced to make the cuts after a federal court in New Mexico ruled in February that the formula for calculating risk adjustment could not use a statewide average premium.

"We were disappointed by the court's recent ruling". The White House supported two attempts in Congress previous year to repeal the program, which insures about 20 million Americans.

"Republicans are doing a bang up job ensuring they are properly blamed for health care rate hikes this fall", Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAn end game on Supreme Court nominations Liberals forget Constitution as Supreme Court battle fires up Anti-Trump protesters sing national anthem outside rally MORE (N.Y.), said in a Monday tweet".

America's Health Insurance Plans, the main health insurance industry trade group, said in a statement that it is "very discouraged" by the Trump administration's decision to freeze payments.

"It has caused insurer collapses and market exits that reduced competition".

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