Democratic and Republican U.S. governors from around the country are urging President Trump to do his job, saying that taking away funding from health insurance plans will make health care less affordable and unduly impact their states.
While Trump has yet to take away the cost-sharing subsidies that are currently stabilizing the insurance marketplace, he has threatened to do so, not only for average ordinary citizens but for members of Congress and their staffs, as well.
“Why should Congress not be paying what public pays,” Trump tweeted over the weekend. “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon.”
We actually agree with Trump on one thing: Congress should pay what the average American does. But, threatening to throw the entire market into disarray simply because Congress has yet to approve Trumpcare – well – that’s just not very smart. State governors are not simply going to wait by while President Trump threatens health care in their states.
The Health and Services Committee of the National Governor’s Association released a statement saying as such:
“The Administration has the opportunity to stabilize the health insurance market across our nation and ensure that our residents can continue to access affordable health care coverage.”
“A first critical step … is to fully fund CSRs (cost-sharing reduction payments) for the remainder of calendar year 2017 through 2018.”
Right now, premiums for Americans in 2018 are being put on hold by insurers while they await Trump’s decision on the cost-sharing subsidies. If Trump decides to withhold nearly $8 billion in premiums under the Affordable Care Act, insurers will jack up rates substantially, making health care not only more expensive but impossible to purchase for low-income workers.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the administration still hasn’t made a final decision, despite the political consequences.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to come up with a short-term solution, saying that for now, at least, Trump should approve the subsidies, while the Senate works on finalizing a deal that’s more sustainable long-term.
“President Trump continues to treat this critical program as if it’s some kind of political hostage.”
Even if Trump does cut off subsidies, he may not end up winning in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling on Tuesday that said 16 state attorney generals may intervene in a lawsuit over the fate of subsidies, giving the Trump administration a fight in court.