Whip Hoyer Joins Letter to President Trump Urging Him to Con May 28, 2017 20:44:03 GMT -5
Post by bot on May 28, 2017 20:44:03 GMT -5
Whip Hoyer Joins Letter to President Trump Urging Him to Continue Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) today joined 195 House Democrats in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to continue making the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. Since taking office, President Trump has raised doubts about whether he would continue these payments, injecting uncertainty and instability into insurance markets.
“Stopping cost-sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act would be an act of gross negligence and an assault on millions of Americans’ access to affordable health care,” said Whip Hoyer. “Already, the uncertainty over whether these payments will continue is impacting consumers, with health insurers making plans to raise premiums or exit marketplaces. The President and Republicans in Congress must remember that they control all the levers of government, and no matter what happens to our health care system on their watch, they will be held responsible for the consequences.”
To read the text of the letter please see below. A pdf of the letter with the full list of the signatories can be found here.
May 24, 2017
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
The law requires, and it is your obligation under the law, to pay the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) cost-sharing reduction payments. Equivocation on this matter destabilizes the market and hurts American families by directly increasing their health care costs.
Cost-sharing reduction payments help seven million hardworking Americans and their families – more than half of all Marketplace enrollees for 2017 – afford their out-of-pocket health care costs. The decision to unilaterally rescind support for these subsidies will cause premiums and out-of-pocket costs to skyrocket and could cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance coverage.
According to a recent report in Politico, your administration has stated that it will continue to pay these cost-sharing subsidies, for now. However, your public statements continue to raise doubts about the future of these payments and your commitment to enforcing the ACA, the law of the land. You have also stated in the past that, “The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode” and recently said that “Obamacare is dead.”
We strongly disagree. The ACA is not dead; however, your failure to commit to paying these subsidies is destabilizing the Marketplaces, and will directly result in higher costs and fewer consumer choices. Insurers have little time left to finalize their rate filings for 2018, and without certainty as to whether or not cost-sharing subsidies will be paid, they will significantly raise their rates or exit the Marketplaces altogether. According to the American Academy of Actuaries, failure to make cost-sharing subsidy payments “could result in insurer losses and solvency challenges, leading insurers to further consider withdrawing from the market. . . .
In areas where insurers decide to remain in the Marketplaces, failure to pay these subsidies will increase premiums for all individuals enrolled in the individual market. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, average ACA Marketplace premiums for silver plans would need to increase by 19 percent to compensate for lack of funding for cost-sharing subsidies. An analysis conducted by Covered California found that 2018 health premiums in the individual market in California could rise by 42-49 percent if the subsidies are not funded and other provisions of the ACA are not enforced. Rising prices and fewer choices will likely hit consumers in rural areas, where health care prices have traditionally been higher, particularly hard. As a result of rising premiums, the federal government would end up spending $31 billion more from 2018-2027.
Working families in every state are relying on you to pay cost-sharing subsidies to help ensure that they can afford the health care they need. The stability of the nation’s health care system and the health of millions of Americans now rest in your hands. Their health care coverage is not a bargaining chip.
It is your responsibility to the American people and your obligation under the law to make the cost-sharing reduction payments and to stop other acts of sabotage that undermine Americans’ access to affordable, quality health insurance.