Trump To Scrap Crucial Obamacare Insurer Subsidy

Update: Late Thursday, the administration said it would immediately stop paying what are known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies. The payments go to health insurers in the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income people with co-pays and other cost sharing. Without them, insurers have said they’ll dramatically raise premiums or pull out of the law’s state-based markets.

According to Bloomberg, the White House said the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services both concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare. “The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” the White House said in the statement.

The payments will stop immediately, with no transition period, Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. They next payments were due next week.

“Congress has not appropriated money for CSRs, and we will discontinue these payments immediately,” the department said.

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Just hours after signing an executive order that implicitly begins unwinding ObamaCare, Politco reports, citing two people familiar with the matter, that President Trump plans to cut off critical subsidy payments to insurers selling Obamacare coverage. The decision, which critics call deliberate attempts to sabotage the law, come just weeks before Americans will be able to start signing up for coverage for 2018. They follow other steps the Trump administration has taken, such as slashing advertising and outreach budgets meant to get people to sign up, as well as planning outages of the website where people can enroll.

Earlier today, Trump signed an executive order expanding access to more loosely regulated insurance options with low premiums, a move that could undermine the ACA insurance markets.

“We’ve been hearing about the disaster of Obamacare for so long,” Trump said in signing the order at a White House ceremony. “For a long time, I’ve been hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace.”

 

He then said that the order is "starting that process" to repeal ObamaCare.

 

It will be the "first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief."

And now, as Politico reports, the process appears to accelerating as Trump's decision to end the payments, estimated at $7 billion this year, marks the president's most aggressive move yet to dismantle Obamacare after months of failed GOP repeal efforts on Capitol Hill.

As Reuters notes, Trump has repeatedly threatened to stop the payments, which are made directly to insurance companies to help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income Americans enrolled in individual healthcare plans under Obamacare.

The move is likely to draw lawsuits and may put pressure on Congress to appropriate funding for the subsidies.

This latest move is likely to throw healthcare markets into chaos, and will infuriate Democrats - effectively closing the 'Chuck and Nancy' channel of communications - leaving a deal to avert government shutdown on or after Dec 8th (when the currenct extension deal runs out) increasingly doubtful.

Comments

Rapunzal Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:18 Permalink

If he doesn't scrap the tax penalty for not having health insurance, everything else doesn't matter. We need a choice to opt out of this scam.

Mentaliusanything TahoeBilly2012 Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:59 Permalink

That was like with my Divorce 10 years ago. Her lawyer wanted 10 years of full tax disclosure, cheque stubs and business account Bank statements, credit card Stats ect by 5.00pm on  xx date or else!!. I arrived at 1minute before, unwrapped 80Lbs of paper and chucked the lot into the Air shouting Merry Christmas Muther Fuckers. They settle amicable like on Monday.  My best work ever!

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

nmewn JohnG Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:18 Permalink

I recall that old argument, its a "voluntary tax". Yeah well, nothing says "voluntary tax" like the IRS sticking a gun in your face and demanding it like a common street thug. And then statist progressive fucks resort to the ole "You are being unpatriotic if you don't willingly pay your taxes!"You see..."patriotism" apparently has something to do with audits, wage garnishments, asset seizures, fines, penalties and compounding interest when its claimed you owe but not the reverse when they owe you...and of course...a 30,000 page tax code that even the IRS can't figure out.

In reply to by JohnG

GUS100CORRINA wisehiney Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:31 Permalink

Trump To Scrap Crucial Obamacare Insurer SubsidyMy response: Looks to me like Mr. President has figured out this "OBAMACARE" situation and the LEGISLATORS are squirming. Did you notice the picture of him signing this executive order today? Did you see who was standing behind him and too his left clapping?Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.The POLITICAL establishment just got screwed bigtime. Maybe time to short the Health Insurance Stocks. This development is going to HURT BIGTIME.

In reply to by wisehiney

Endgame Napoleon GUS100CORRINA Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:47 Permalink

They’ll cut back on $10-per-hour, unlicensed, momma-clique staff, paying them $9 per hour, which be better for the all-momma enployees in many areas of the insurance industry, in that it will increase their eligibility for free food and subsidized or free housing. They get the $3,337 to $6,269 child tax credits, either way, while licensed agents who were put out of work in droves by Obamacare do not get money from the state. They are [charged] for license renewals and continuing education every two years.

Many of them built up a clientele on straight commission with no benefits over years, and it was wiped away by Obamacare, which used mostly unlicensed “navigators,” not that health insurance is the only part of the industry hiring mostly unlicensed moms who have unearned income from spouses, child support checks or welfare and child tax credits for the salaried jobs with benefits.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

JRobby GUS100CORRINA Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:52 Permalink

Wailing morons posting here about "entitlements". Obliviocare transferred money from the US Treasury directly into health insurers and big pharma pockets, skimming $$$ illegally from other GOVT accounts to keep it all afloat. The level if fraudulent claims and subsidies is sickening. Corporate welfare scam. 

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

Endgame Napoleon Rapunzal Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:55 Permalink

Well, he canceled the TPP and is making some moves on NAFTA. It is not clear whether that will be a mere adjustment, a major overhaul or, better yet, a cancellation. Hillary would not have scrapped the TPP. But we want him to do more on stopping mass-scale, welfare-boosted immigration and ending illegal immigration. He and Melania did a good job on the hurricanes in Texas / Florida. That paper towel thing in PR turned out to be fake news. People asked him to throw them paper towels, jokingly, and the MSM made it a racial thing.

In reply to by Rapunzal

jin187 Rapunzal Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:47 Permalink

There are tons of ways around the individual mandate, especially if you live in a state that refused the Medicaid expansion. I tick half the boxes on my tax returns. You can claim anything from being Native American to religious reasons.

One of the first things Trump did when he got into office was to stop the IRS from enforcing the mandate, so check some boxes you're not totally uncomfortable with just in case, and dodge the penalty worry-free.

In reply to by Rapunzal

Duc888 Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:20 Permalink

  Good.  I hope Trump continues to ERASE every single crumb of evidence that the Muslim usurper ever set foot in the White House.

wisehiney Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:21 Permalink

What I been waiting for.Headlines be screaming blame on Trump tomorrow.Just in time for 2018 premium announcements.Grab em by the pussy Trump!