Trump administration freezes risk adjustment payments

Trump administration freezes Obamacare payments, citing court decision

The Trump administration has taken an axe to the Affordable Care Act, suspending a program that was set to pay $10.4 billion to insurers for covering high-risk individuals past year. But another district court in MA upheld the formula.

"Republicans are doing a bang up job ensuring they are properly blamed for health care rate hikes this fall", Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAn end game on Supreme Court nominations Liberals forget Constitution as Supreme Court battle fires up Anti-Trump protesters sing national anthem outside rally MORE (N.Y.), said in a Monday tweet".

"We are very discouraged by the new market disruption brought about by the decision to freeze risk adjustment payments", the group said in a statement Saturday. "It will create more market uncertainty and increase premiums for many health plans - putting a heavier burden on small businesses and consumers, and reducing coverage options".

"Insurers hate uncertainty, and when faced with it tend to raise premiums to hedge their bets", says Larry Levitt, Senior Vice President at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "And costs for taxpayers will rise as the federal government spends more on premium subsidies", AHIP said in a statement. The agency said it will release additional guidance for insurers on issues related to the risk-adjustment program, including appeals and how this will affect medical loss ratios.

However, if the administration is trying to undermine ObamaCare, payments might not resume anytime soon, and that could lead to lasting damage. "So it seems like an extreme step to halt this program nationally based on a decision by one district court judge".

FILE PHOTO: A man fills out an information card during an Affordable Care Act outreach event hosted by Planned Parenthood for the Latino community in Los Angeles, California September 28, 2013.

Former finalist Bouchard's Wimbledon dream hit for six
You know, I have always deep down had the belief, and it's about, in the tough moments of the match, keeping that belief. Barty had four chances to win the match in the 12th game but Bouchard won all four points to keep it at 40-40.

Indeed, a series of actions by the administration have undermined the ACA. Last month the Department of Justice decided not to defend the law in a court challenge in Texas, jeopardizing the part of the law that protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage, as NPR reported.

More broadly, the move contributes to a string of actions from the Trump administration, including the cancellation of other ObamaCare payments a year ago, that have added to insurers' uncertainty and frustration.

Legal experts said there were several ways the administration could have dealt with the situation, without going so far as to suspend the program.

It could encourage more insurers to bow out of the Affordable Care Act.

"The Trump administration just keeps pushing their destructive repeal-and-sabotage agenda, no matter the cost to the American people", the statement reads.

The suspension of the payments comes amid other efforts by the Trump administration to try to chip away at the landmark health care law.

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