Trump Gives Obamacare Insurers More Time But No Clarity

Trump Gives Obamacare Insurers More Time But No Clarity

If the payments ended, some carriers would withdraw from ObamaCare and about 5 percent of people would live in an area without any options on the exchanges in 2018, according to CBO. The payments reimburse insurance companies for covering some low-income enrollees.

President Trump has called those payments a bailout to insurance companies.

The government is mandated to offer financial assistance for the premiums of ACA customers who earn 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. "Many others without government subsidies will find themselves unable to afford health insurance because of rising premiums, co-pays and deductibles". The number of people uninsured would be slightly higher in 2018 but a little lower starting in 2020. That plan would result in a 25 percent premium hike for affected consumers who buy the silver plan - an additional 12.4 percent jump on top of the 12.5 percent average premium increase for the entire state.

Since more people would likely receive premium tax credits and in greater amounts, the CBO predicts that ending CSR payments would raise the federal deficit by $6 billion in 2018, $21 billion in 2020 and $26 billion in 2026. The threats haven't stopped, but the administration has continued to pay the subsidies.

The subsidies are snared in a legal dispute whether the Obama health care law properly approved the payments to insurers.

As CNBC reports, Trump has repeatedly threatened to end the billions of dollars in payments to insurance companies that sell individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Trump has frequently talked tough after his repeated failures to kill the ACA, saying again and again that Republicans should "let Obamacare fail".

"The CBO analysis makes clear that ending cost-sharing subsidies would be a ideal example of cutting off your nose to spite your face", says Larry Levitt, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. If the Trump administration decides not to appeal the case, the subsidies will end.

After the Senate effort failed in July, Trump tweeted days later threatening to stop the payments. While less than one-half of a percent of people are now without marketplace insurers in their area, that number would go up to five percent in 2018, with one million people losing their insurance.

In Trump's opinion, if he stopped paying these cost-sharing reductions, Obamacare would "implode", and Democrats would have no choice but to negotiate a replacement plan.