What Trump's health care moves mean for you

Frederick Owens
October 18, 2017

And if they can't come up with the money immediately, they can turn to the private sector for help. There were 43 presidents before Obama and they lived by this rule.

Is this is beginning of the end of the Affordable Care Act?

Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of playing politics with people's lives. Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said that it could backfire on the administration.

Meanwhile, Trump has toned down his rhetoric about deporting Dreamers, suggesting, as he has done with health care, that perhaps a deal could be made. She said the majority party bears responsibility for what happens next. CSRs are one of many subsidies created by Obama to prop up the health care reform that bears his name.

Premiums for individual plans increaseIn Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is blaming President Trump for a sharp increase in the cost of health insurance for residents who buy individual plans. Though envisioned by the original Obamacare law, the payments were left up to the annual appropriations process.

All these contortions just so Trump can convince his neo-conservative base that, unlike the Republican congressional leadership, he hasn't given up on killing Obamacare. An ongoing legal case is tied up in the courts.

CSRs are subsidies paid directly to insurance companies that reduce copays and deductibles for poorer customers when they actually use their insurance. "Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people".

Democrats have accused Trump of sabotaging the ACA - in the words of the CT senator Chris Murphy on Sunday, "literally setting the entire healthcare system on fire just because [he] is upset that the United States Congress won't pass a repeal bill".

That's the substance of the administration's ruling on cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, subsidies.

Trump's decision, however, may not be the last word on the funding of the cost-sharing subsidies.

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In a statement, Wolf accused Congress of being complicit in the rate increases because it didn't appropriate the cost-sharing reduction payments that Trump is ending.

During appearances on ABC and CNN's "State of the Union", Sen. On Sunday, Susan Collins of ME was interviewed on CNN. According to estimates, they cost the government $7 billion in fiscal 2017, which ended September 30 and $10 billion in the current fiscal year.

The Congressional Budget Office and other analysts say the decision to withdraw the money will cost taxpayers more over time because the federal government doles out subsidies that rise with premiums tied to "benchmark" plans in the program's exchanges.

"These benefits help real people every day, and if they are ended, there will be real consequences", the lobbying groups said.

The budget office said Trump's decision would also increase the federal deficit - by $6 billion in 2018, $21 billion in 2020, and $26 billion in 2026 - because the government will have to pay larger subsidies to low-income families to cover the higher premiums they must pay after the insurance companies stop receiving subsidies.

Specifically, states can step in to make the subsidy payments themselves - and then turn around and sue the federal government for reimbursement. Yet others did not, forcing a scramble to figure out whether rates can be revised or if open enrollment can be delayed.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said Mr. Trump had no choice but to halt the payments after Mr. Obama ignored Congress and was rebuked by the courts.

Also, Trump's move is expected to unleash multiple lawsuits from insurers, state regulators and consumer advocates seeking to force the administration to continue the payments. And what about the more than 10 million Americans enrolled in Obamacare?

House Republicans have passed a repeal-and-replace bill, but Senate Republicans have struggled to find a consensus on their own bill.

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