Yesterday, President Trump and Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan announced the “immediate” end of payments to fund cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). Coming three weeks before open enrollment, this is the most malicious and harmful attack yet by the Trump Administration on the Affordable Care Act. It will wreak extreme havoc on health care for America’s families. CSR payments cover insurers’ cost of lowering deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for almost 6 million marketplace enrollees in low-wage, working families.
President Trump’s Executive Order accomplishes nothing on its own. However, it asks HHS and the Department of Labor to take the Trump Administration’s ACA sabotage campaign to new heights. With less than three weeks to go before open enrollment begins, the administration is sowing confusion among consumers.
After a decade of fruitlessly besieging the city of Troy, the Greeks seemed to sail away for home, leaving behind a gift. “What lovely sculpture,” exclaimed the Trojans. “The Greeks may return, but for now, they have obviously stepped aside from battle. Just look at this beautiful wooden horse!” Troy soon learned to its sorrow that Greek warriors were hiding in the belly of the beast. The gift acclaimed as a sign of peace turned out to be a vehicle for waging further war.
Learn about the financial assistance the Affordable Care Act provides to protect low-income consumers from spending too much on copayments, deductibles, and other health care expenses.
Known as “cost-sharing reductions,” this assistance is essential to whether people can afford to get health care.
At least for the next few months, Congress has shelved its attempts to take health insurance away from tens of millions of people through severe and partisan cuts to the ACA and Medicaid. This extraordinary result is a tribute to consumers and advocates who raised their voices all across the country, in phone calls to Senate and House offices, town-hall meetings, letters to the editor, rallies, and more.
This accomplishment is worth celebrating, but the fight continues. Vital health care priorities are currently up for grabs, in five main areas.
Today’s headlines were about Congress turning its attention to tax reform, but there’s still some critical health care business to take care of. Congress needs to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and do it ASAP, before both lapse on September 30th. The health and health care of millions depend on it.
Getting this done should not be hard. Both the CHIP program and community health centers have enjoyed strong bipartisan support, and with good reason. Both make our health system better.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would return us to the days when people with preexisting conditions could be denied essential benefits or charged so much that insurance would be out of reach. States would see major funding cuts and be forced to make impossible decisions, choosing which residents lose benefits or health insurance altogether.
The bill slashes both the ACA’s coverage expansion and basic Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, and children. Millions of middle-class families would lose the security of knowing that, whatever happens to their job, they will still have access to high-quality, affordable health coverage. The damage wrought by this radical plan would be widespread and significant.
Update 9/21: The Senate could vote next week on Graham-Cassidy. Learn what you can do to stop it. The latest Republican repeal and replace plan may be the last, which is why the plan authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy is picking up steam despite the threat it poses to state budgets and taxpayers.
Following the failed effort in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are encouraging signs that members on both sides of the aisle are coming together to find bipartisan solutions to the most pressing challenge facing our health care system: stabilizing our health insurance markets amid significant regulatory and political uncertainty.
Bipartisan efforts that set aside ACA repeal and substantial cuts to the Medicaid program are essential to ensuring high quality, affordable health care for all. To successfully address the challenges facing the individual market, a stabilization package needs to focus on reducing uncertainty, holding down premiums, and bolstering enrollment.
As health equity advocates we share a fundamental vision of a nation where every single human being has an equitable chance to enjoy the best health possible, no matter who they are—including where they were born. For us, it is not about being on the left or right of the political spectrum. Equal access to good health is an intrinsically human value.