Top Dems blast administration's proposed ObamaCare changes

Top House and Senate Democrats on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration’s proposed changes for ObamaCare insurance markets, saying the rule will lead to increased costs and fewer people being covered.

“The proposed rule is yet another example of this administration’s pattern of complaining about the cost of individual and small group market health insurance coverage, while simultaneously enacting policies that actually increase those costs and remove protections for patients and families,” Sens. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Bipartisan senators reveal sweeping health care package Senate chairman says bipartisan health care package coming Thursday MORE (D-Wash.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Facebook won't remove doctored Pelosi video | Trump denies knowledge of fake Pelosi videos | Controversy over new Assange charges | House Democrats seek bipartisan group on net neutrality Manning: Additional Assange charges are feds using the law 'as a sword' Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access MORE (D-Ore.) and Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment Overnight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan MORE (D-N.J.) and Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottDem lawmaker says 'adversity score' shows debate over 'usefulness' of SAT is 'not over' CBC member brushes off Biden's past opposition to school busing Dem lawmaker says U.S. has 'drifted backwards' on school integration MORE (D-Va.) said in a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

The lawmakers said they were especially concerned that the administration wants to change how it calculates eligibility for ObamaCare tax credits.

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The tax credits help lower income people afford their health insurance premiums; the larger a person’s family and the lower his or her income is, the more credit the person may be eligible for.

The Democrats cited the administration’s estimates that the change would result in more than 100,000 people dropping their coverage because the premiums would be unaffordable.

It is long past time for this administration to respond to rising health care costs with something other than proposals that kick individuals off their coverage, increase costs, and make the health care system more complicated,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Democrats also warned the administration not to outlaw a practice states adopted when the Trump administration canceled key ObamaCare subsidies to insurers. Those subsidies helped insurers reduce customers' out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles for low-income people.

When the administration canceled the subsidies, states and insurers found a workaround so people would still be able to get financial assistance and not be hit with high premiums.

If the administration outlawed that workaround, “it would result in billions of dollars in increased costs for consumers and loss of coverage,” the Democrats said.