CBO to release report Tuesday on ending ObamaCare insurer payments

CBO to release report Tuesday on ending ObamaCare insurer payments
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The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to release a report Tuesday afternoon on the impact of halting payments to insurance companies, which President Trump has threatened to do, the CBO announced Monday.

The nonpartisan agency will analyze the effects that stopping these payments would have on the federal budget, health coverage, marketplace stability and insurance premiums.

Cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments compensate insurers for lowering the out-of-pocket costs of certain enrollees. Insurers have said premiums would increase if the federal government stops the funds, which total $7 billion for fiscal 2017.

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The Trump administration has been making these payments on a monthly basis and hasn’t yet said if the payments will be made in August.

“The President is working with his staff and his cabinet to consider the issues raised by the CSR payments,” a White House spokesperson wrote in an email around noon Monday.

Insurers are anxiously awaiting a decision and have been asking for a long-term commitment that the funds continue from either the administration or Congress.

The issue has been tied up in court, and by Aug. 20 the Trump administration has to decide if it wants to continue to appeal a verdict against the administration on the payments. If it decides not to, the payments could stop. For months, the case has been on hold, and it’s possible it could be delayed again.

Additionally, Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization MORE (R-Tenn.) and the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Top Dems urge Trump officials to reverse suspension of ObamaCare payments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families MORE (Wash.), will hold hearings in the first week of September on a short-term marketplace stabilization bill. Alexander has said any bill should fund the cost-sharing reduction payments, which would mean insurers wouldn’t have to worry about the White House stopping the funds.