Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Trump Administration Freezes Payments Required By The Affordable Care Act

Trump Administration Freezes Payments Required By The Affordable Care Act

These include eliminating the individual mandate penalty and broadening the availability of two alternatives to Affordable Care Act policies. Hoover Institution research fellow Lanhee Chen with more.

The Trump administration says it's freezing payments under an "ObamaCare" program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses, a move expected to add to premium increases next year. Insurers say, the timing of the decision could mean higher premiums for millions of individuals and small businesses next year.

Insurance stocks may be a focus in Monday morning's trading.

"As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold", she said.

President Donald Trump's administration has used its regulatory powers to undermine the ACA on multiple fronts after the Republican-controlled Congress past year failed to repeal and replace the law propelled by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Many Trump followers often cheer cuts to Obamacare, not knowing that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are one in the same. Some insurances have even expanded their presence in states where they were already operating with help from the Affordable Care Act.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Saturday it was forced to halt further collections or payments under the ACA program known as risk adjustment, because of a federal judge's ruling.

The New Mexico ruling found fault with the formula used by the government to calculate the payments, saying it was "arbitrary and capricious".

"We urge the Trump administration to back off of this unsafe and destabilizing plan, and instead begin working on bipartisan solutions to make coverage more affordable", said Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Protect Our Care, a progressive group that supports Obamacare.

Late past year, it said it would halt so-called cost-sharing payments, which offset some out-of-pocket healthcare costs for low-income patients. "CMS has asked the court to reconsider its ruling, and hopes for a prompt resolution that allows CMS to prevent more adverse impacts on Americans who receive their insurance in the individual and small group markets", CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a July 7 statement.

Trump continues to attack Obamacare even as almost a dozen insurers have started to warm to the program with at least a dozen states seeing an increase in the number of insurers participating in the healthcare exchange.

The Trump administration has halted billions of dollars of Obamacare payments to insurers due to a court ruling.

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