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Three Things to Know About Trump Ending Those Health Care Payments
As you may have heard, late last week the President announced that he is ending federal payments for "cost-sharing reductions" under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It's a bizarre target, considering the program's sole purpose is to reduce costs -- namely deductibles and co-pays -- for low-income Americans who sign up for insurance through the ACA Marketplace. Over 600,000 Texans receive help to lower their costs through the program. The reductions are separate from the subsidies that help pay for monthly premiums.
Here are three things you should know about the President's decision:
1. It appears the President of the United States is intentionally raising health care premiums.
Because the ACA requires insurance companies to provide the cost-sharing assistance, some insurers are raising premiums to cover the funds that the President cut off. Other companies had already planned to raise premiums in anticipation of the President's decision. The higher premiums will hit those middle-income Americans who don't qualify for financial assistance to protect them from premium increases. While some policy proposals create winners and losers, this one only creates losers. It's galling that the President would take out his frustration on Americans in this destructive manner.
2. Congress can fix this if we put enough pressure on them.
We know the President is sabotaging health care. The question is whether Congress will continue to allow him to do it. Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray are leading bipartisan negotiations to develop legislation to provide the cost-sharing reduction payments and stabilize -- rather than tear down -- the individual health insurance market. Call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support this effort.
3. Texans can still sign up for health insurance on the Obamacare Marketplace -- and receive subsidies to shield them from rising premiums -- from November 1 to December 15, 2017.
As the President creates health care chaos, we must get out the word that the upcoming health insurance open enrollment window is on track. Most Americans who sign up for insurance on the Marketplace will receive subsidies that protect them from the increase in premiums.
Here are four things you can do: