Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Trump slashes funding that helps people sign up for Obamacare

Trump slashes funding that helps people sign up for Obamacare

The Trump administration said Saturday that it is temporarily halting billions of dollars of payments created to help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick.

The announcement was made by Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and was precipitated by a New Mexico court ruling that suggested the calculations for the risk-adjusted premiums were flawed even despite a MA ruling that validated them. The payments work this way: The government takes money from insurers with healthier, low-risk customers, and gives it to insurers with less-healthy, higher-risk customers. "It has also led to upstarts, small plans and unprofitable ones paying billions of dollars to larger, more established and profitable insurers". But a month later a federal judge in New Mexico said it was.

The court's ruling bars the agency from collecting or making payments under the current methodology, which uses a statewide average premium, said CMS, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The suspension of the payments comes amid other efforts by the Trump administration to try to chip away at the landmark health care law.

One of the great ironies of the Affordable Care Act is that progressives wanted to stick it to the insurers and instead have enriched them with new business.

Houston Astros tabbed for MLB All-Star game
Team, while AAA Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson will serve as its third-base coach. The Home Run Derby field will be announced next week.

White House announces additional $200B in tariffs targeting China
The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a package of tariffs targeting Chinese exports valued roughly at $200 billion. High-level talks between the two countries starting in May failed to deliver a breakthrough to head off a trade war.

Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive in Ireland on first worldwide trip
The Duchess also accessorised with gloves, which she could be seen carrying alongside a clutch, all in flawless tonal coordination.

The Trump administration has made no secret of its hostility to the healthcare program, enacted in 2010. "It moves us back to some extent to the status quo where people with pre-existing conditions found it very hard to get insurance".

"An effective risk adjustment program is crucial to the sound operation of a health insurance marketplace in which individuals, families and small businesses with health needs have access to more affordable, high-quality coverage", said Bill Wehrle, Kaiser Permanente vice president of health insurance exchanges, in a statement.

"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 has halted billions of dollars of Obamacare payments to insurers due to a court ruling.

"We are very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments", the group said in a statement Saturday. The CMS has appealed the decision, particularly because a MA court upheld such payments. "In light of this analysis, the Government can not lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments", the White House said after ending the payments in October 2017. The CMS has asked Judge Browning to reconsider his ruling and is awaiting a decision.

Like this: