Monday, 24 September, 2018


Trump administration slashes grants to help Americans get Affordable Care Act coverage

Trump administration freezes billions of dollars in payments to Obamacare insurers Trump administration slashes grants to help Americans get Affordable Care Act coverage
Patty Aguilar | 14 July, 2018, 00:56

The data, which outlines risk adjustment transfers for the 2017 year, comes days after the agency announced it would freeze payments, citing a New Mexico court decision earlier this year that ruled CMS must rework its risk adjustment formula.

The payments were created to stop insurers from losing money on very sick patients, who cost the most to treat. Last year, in addition to reducing money to navigator groups, the Administration cut funding for promotion of the law by $90 million.

Trump's administration has used its regulatory powers to undermine the ACA on multiple fronts after the Republican-controlled Congress a year ago failed to repeal and replace the law instituted by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Trump administration officials said they made a decision to suspend payments under the program because of a ruling in February from a Federal District Court in New Mexico.

Instead, the Trump administration has used the judge's ruling in New Mexico as a pretext to destabilize the ACA. A spokeswoman for ConnectiCare said the insurer is "monitoring developments" related to risk adjustment payments and plans to file its 2019 small group and individual plan rates next week.

This time, the agency which conducts the medical insurance markets is slashing funds for organizations which assist individuals to search for the policy, forcing the classes to make do with roughly one-fourth of the national funding they obtained to this year's open enrollment.

For the past five years, when insurance has been available through ACA marketplaces for people who do not have access to affordable health benefits through a job, federal health officials have started every spring working with navigator groups on plans for the coming enrollment season. "Costs for taxpayers will rise as the federal government spends more on premium subsidies", said a statement from America's Health Insurance Plans, a health insurance industry trade group.

But in January, in a separate case, a federal district judge in MA upheld the government formula used to calculate the payments.

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

"The truth is that the Trump administration has lots of options". The mandate requires people without insurance from their employer or a government program to obtain health coverage or pay a penalty.

"It's also taking legal action to abandon the protection for people with pre-existing conditions". During his first year in office, Trump pressed the Republican-led Congress to repeal much of the 2010 law, one of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievements. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that will raise premiums by about 10 percent. This idea of pooling risk has had significant practical effects: encouraging insurers to participate in the insurance marketplaces the ACA created for Americans who can not get affordable health benefits through a job. Taken together, these moves will have the effect of damaging the ACA's marketplaces by attracting younger, healthier people, while forcing older, sicker people to either pay more for insurance or purchase sub-par insurance that might not cover services they need.

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