At press time, his administration also appeared to be moving toward making good on a pledge to end the cost-sharing reduction subsidy payment stream to health insurers today, by withholding payments the insurers were expecting to get Wednesday.
The cost-sharing reduction subsidy helps Affordable Care Act exchange plan users with family income under 250% of the federal poverty level handle health play deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance amounts. The upper income limit for the subsidy, which goes straight to the insurers, not to the enrollees, is now about $30,000 for an individual in most parts of the country, and about $61,500 for a family of four.
Insurers are expecting to get about cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments for a total of about 6 million enrollees this year.
The Subsidy Continuation Proposal
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee said Tuesday on the Senate floor that he and the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., will be introducing a temporary individual health market stabilization bill later this week.
Under the agreement, Republicans would agree to fund the cost-sharing reduction subsidy program for 2018 and 2019, in exchange for Democrats agreeing to ease the application process for the Affordable Care Act Section 1332 waiver program. The ACA waiver program lets a state adjust ACA rules to fit local conditions. Republicans, and some Democrats, have argued that the restrictions the ACA and Obama-era regulations impose on states make the waiver program much too difficult and slow to use.
Trump said at a press conference Tuesday that he saw the Alexander-Murray bill as a short-term solution that would give congressional Republicans time to round up votes for a permanent replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
Today, however, Trump said in a tweet that he is supporting Alexander as a human being, not the Alexander-Murray proposal.
“I can never support bailing out ins co’s who have made a fortune w/ O’Care,” Trump tweeted.