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Heinrich: Trump Administration's Health Care Sabotage Will Increase Premiums For New Mexicans

14 July 2018

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 instituted by Democratic President Barack Obama.

A former CMC head during the Obama government, Andy Slavitt, indicated on Twitter that because in the long-run there will be the eventual payment of the finances, no insurers need to pull-out from the markets or act out of context or feat at the moment.

The program, which was created to be a permanent feature of the Affordable Care Act, transfers money from health plans with lower-risk consumers to plans with higher-risk consumers.

The Trump administration is bound by a federal court decision to suspend billions of dollars in ObamaCare payments, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma said Thursday. Under the risk adjustment program, insurers with healthier policyholders contribute money, which is then divvied up among carriers with sicker ones.

In the short term, $10.4 billion in payments tied to the 2017 benefit year, which were scheduled to go to health insurance companies, will not be paid. No taxpayer subsidies are involved.

The funding cuts follow CMS's announcement that it would no longer pay subsidize insurers who enroll large numbers of unhealthy people, a move that insurers and ACA advocates said would drive up premiums.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members are a mainstay of Affordable Care Act coverage, said it was "extremely disappointed" with the administration's action. The agencies in a statement said that they were seeking legal redress and understanding and will be informing all the involved participants of any bring up-to-date information regarding the current collections or future payments at the right time. Insurers proposed rates in May. Premiums undoubtedly will rise, and more people will be unable to afford them. In other words, the Trump Administration position in court is in favor of making the payments.

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Now, months later, CMS has asked the New Mexico judge to reconsider the decision, and in the meantime, it suspended the program.

These "association health plans" are just one more facet of Trump's Obamacare sabotage, cheap plans with limited coverage meant to draw healthy people out of the Obamacare markets. Health law experts are...

The brunt of higher prices would fall on solid middle-class consumers who are not eligible for the income-based subsidies. It's a smaller pot of money with more competitors.

The latest "Obamacare" flare-up does not affect most people with employer coverage.

There has been no demonstrable outrage from leading Democrats on Trump's intensifying campaign to transform Medicaid into a cut-rate voucher program or other aspects of the administration's crusade against the poor and dismantling of what remains of the social safety net.

She said the problem with reducing consumer assistance is not so much that fewer people will buy coverage but that people will buy policies that don't fit their needs. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27 percent of people under the age of 65 have what could be considered a pre-existing condition. Immediately after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cast the deciding vote to block the dramatic repeal effort, Trump implored Republicans to let the law disintegrate.

Heinrich: Trump Administration's Health Care Sabotage Will Increase Premiums For New Mexicans