Trump’s Halting of CSR Payments to Insurers Shows Willful Intent to Create Chaos in Insurance Markets

(BOSTON) Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding President Trumps announcement last night that the government will no longer make Cost-Sharing Reduction payments to insurers.

“In the most destructive move yet in his campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the president last night announced he will stop all cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to health insurers reimbursing them for subsidies provided to hardworking Americans to help them afford care. This occurred on the same day that he issued an executive order directing his cabinet to consider damaging changes to critical insurance market regulations that, if carried through, would destabilize the marketplaces and lead to higher premiums for older and sicker people and those with preexisting conditions. This outrageous escalation in sabotage is yet another way the administration is undermining ACA marketplaces on the eve of the 2018 Open Enrollment period, and is a one-two punch certain to sow even more uncertainty among consumers, providers and insurers.

“The decision to end the CSR payments will drive up premium costs for consumers by at least 20 percent and inject even more uncertainty into the ACA marketplaces. At last month’s Senate HELP Committee hearings, nearly all twenty witnesses told Congress that making CSR payments was the most important thing that could be done to bring stability to the market and prevent unnecessary premium increases. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the nation’s leading hospital and doctors' organizations agree that ending the CSR payments will increase premiums and could result in insurers leaving the ACA marketplaces. State insurance commissioners - including those from Maine, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington – have warned that not making the payments will mean that people will pay the price. The president is willfully ignoring the advice of experts who know the health care system best. 

“Now is the time for Republican members of Congress to join with Democrats to act in the best interests of their constituents and move forward immediately with a bipartisan plan to fund – and continue to fund – the CSR payments to ensure market stability.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

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