Trump leaning toward ending key ObamaCare subsidies: report
President Trump is considering pulling the plug on key ObamaCare subsidies, Politico reported Friday, citing remarks the president has made to advisers.
“No final decisions have been made at this time, and all options are on the table,” the White House said in a statement to Politico.
The Trump administration has reportedly told Congress that it will continue the subsidies through May, but it is not clear what will happen after that.
If the payments do stop, it could cause premium costs to swell – a reality that would likely deal significant political damage to Trump and Republican lawmakers heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
The payments, known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, are intended to bring down deductibles and copayments and help low-income consumers pay for out-of-pocket costs.
But insurers must continue to make the payments even if the federal subsidy ends. The move would likely deal a harsh blow to ObamaCare markets and would cause insurers to pull out of some states.
Trump has reportedly put the onus on Congress to work out a way to pay for the subsidies, according to Politico.
Groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the American Medical Association, among others, sent a letter to Senate leaders on Friday urging them to continue funding the CSR payments.
“Millions of Americans do not receive health insurance through an employer, Medicare or Medicaid,” the letter reads. “The individual market is their only option for getting coverage. Unless CSRs are funded, a tremendous number of Americans will simply go without coverage and move to the ranks of the uninsured.”