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Politico Pro reports that the Senate parliamentarian is looking into whether Republicans can continue to debate the replacement of the federal health law using fast-track procedures set up under the 2017 budget after the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
These payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, are paid to health plans to offset the costs of providing coverage to low-income consumers. The decision, which drew criticism from some congressional conservatives, signals, for now, that the administration has decided against triggering a collapse of the health law’s individual market. This step could create a window of time and opportunity for Congress to pass some fixes to stabilize the markets.
The Congressional Budget Office found that if President Donald Trump opts to halt certain insurance subsidies it would increase the federal deficit by $194 billion and cause the premium costs for a popular Obamacare plan to increase significantly.
The Business Journal examines the likely choices facing Covered California enrollees in the Central Valley. In national marketplace news, Nevada’s insurance “bare markets” now appear to be covered with a Centene deal.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) says his sweeping proposal is “about the only game left in town.” Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is preparing to introduce his Medicare-for-all plan.
Jan Spencely, executive director of the nonprofit San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage, said almost nine out of ten San Diegans enrolled in Covered California get financial assistance.
In a ruling that states can sue the administration if insurer subsidies are cut off, the courts may have taken away a powerful negotiating tool President Donald Trump has been using during the health care debates. “We’re not going to wait to find out what Donald Trump wants to do,” says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is helping steer the states’ involvement. “My team is ready to defend these subsidies in court.”
“My wife and I came up with a new Covered California slogan,” quipped Santa Cruz County resident Chris Olsen. “Covered California: Nothing you can count on.” Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says she doesn’t understand the decision and is “deeply concerned” by it.
All 11 existing insurers will continue to provide plans for next year, but Anthem Blue Cross is significantly reducing its coverage.
The Trump administration’s threat to insurer subsidies, though, throws uncertainty over the numbers.