Wednesday, a federal judge refused to force the Trump administration to make subsidy payments.
A federal judge denied a request to immediately force the Trump administration to continue making the Obamacare insurance subsidy payments that it cut off earlier this month.
U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria ruled Wednesday against an emergency order to require that the payments continue to be made while a lawsuit filed by 18 states and the District of Columbia over the so-called cost-sharing reduction payments works its way through the courts.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration indicated they could not lawfully continue making subsidy payments to health insurance provided participating in Obamacare. Remember, at the time, Congress had not appropriated funds for subsidies.
Then, I blogged:
Congress has yet to appropriate funds for subsidies given to health insurance providers that offer Obamacare plans. Failure to subsidize these plans spells the end of Obamacare as we know it.
…About 7 million Americans receive a subsidy for their health insurance purchased through an Obamacare exchange.
Insurance companies participating in Obamacare exchanged have been losing copious amounts of cash, which is why exchanges have collapsed as insurers continue their mass exodus into more profitable ventures. Participating insurers have received bailout after bailout by way of subsidy from the federal government to offset loss incurred by selling Obamacare plans.
When Trump floated yanking subsidies last spring, speculation suggested insurers would pass that cost on to the rest of the insurance pool, effectively raising premiums across the board. So it makes sense that Trump would first create a mechanism for the market to find cheaper alternatives (Thursday’s Executive Order) before cutting insurers off the government dole.
Lost in the fear-mongering about sweeping premium increases is how much every tax payer has been involuntarily feeding participating insurers through these Obama-era federal bailouts.
…every person contributing to the federal tax coffers is already paying to offset the loss of a failing market, artificially propped up by government stilts. Removing them will create temporary uncertainty as the market adjusts, but there’s no reason (aside from politicalization of the issue) to believe anyone will die or health insurance will be unaffordable because of Trump’s recent decisions. Quite the contrary.
This is far better a result than anything Congress has coughed up this year.
And it’s still true. We’re nearing the end of the 2017 session and even with majorities in both houses, Congress has yet mount any serious attempt to repeal Obamacare.
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