Delay in court case deepens health insurance uncertainty

Yet in doing so, Mr. Trump is shifting some of the blame for shaky insurance markets from Democrats who ushered in the 2010 Affordable Care Act and its heavy mandates to his own party.

Ed Rogers is a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns.

The administration has made the payments for May, but hasn't committed to future ones.

But President Donald Trump at times has suggested he'd stop, and publicly mused that could be a tactic to force congressional Democrats to negotiate over health care. But it will affect middle-class people who don't qualify for Obamacare tax credits. Last month, the ousted Molina Health (MOH) CEO, Dr. J. Mario Molina, threatened to completely pull out of the exchanges if the government did not continue funding cost-sharing reductions.

Monday is a key date in the saga.

The court previously ruled that payments would continue as congressional Republicans and the new Trump administration worked toward a resolution.

Many in Washington will be watching closely, because things could go a number of different ways.

"There's no doubt that this cloud is impacting everything else, and I think the White House acknowledged that", said Rubio said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

But the Senate is struggling to craft its version of health care and both chambers are hoping to pass tax reform this year, as well as a budget for 2018. Without them, many insurers have warned they will stop selling plans in 2018.


The subsidies reimburse insurers for offering lower-income Obamacare customers discounts on out-of-pocket health expense charges in their plans, including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance.

By simply leaving the fate of the CSRs in limbo, Trump is pretty much ensuring Americans will pay more for their health coverage next year.

Conservatives argue that President Obama lacked the authority to dole out billions of dollars of insurance subsidies, arguing that Congress never appropriated money for that objective. Politico reported Friday that Trump is telling "advisers he wants to end key Obamacare subsidies".

"Why the hell would we?" he said, according to an adviser.

Trump has indicated a desire to halt the subsidies.

-Worst-case for insurers: The administration drops the appeal. After almost two years of deliberation, Senior Judge of the U.S.District Court for the District of Columbia Rosemary M. Collyer concluded the House's claim had legal standing and allowed the case move forward May 12, 2016. And it would be hard for him to stop them because that would undercut his legal position.

-Maybe okay for insurers: The administration asks the court for more time and the judge says no. Insurers get resolution sooner because the administration is forced to come back in a short time frame with a decision. If insurers raised their premiums, it might actually cause US spending on Obamacare to rise, rather than fall, because Obamacare's main subsidies are based on how much premiums cost.

"Obamacare has failed. For this reason, Republicans are reforming health care so it delivers access to quality, affordable coverage to the American people".

It will be fascinating to watch how Trump moves on this. Under former Speaker John Boehner, House Republicans sued the Obama administration to prevent it from doling out the subsidies.

According to the motion, legislators and the administration are still working on ways to avoid a legal ruling on the case.


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