Massachusetts scheduled to receive $125 million in cost-sharing reduction payments for 2018, impacting coverage for more than 244,000 residents
Washington (May 22, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after President Donald Trump and House Republicans asked to further delay the lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction payments, continuing to hold health care hostage for families across the country.
“Instead of fostering certainty in the health care insurance marketplace, the Trump administration is kicking the can down the road, causing chaos and instability,”said Senator Markey. “President Trump is purposefully sabotaging health care for millions of Americans with this delay. As a self-proclaimed business leader, President Trump should know that uncertainty is bad for business and bad for consumers. Refusing to commit to these payments will result in higher premiums and fewer health care options in the long-term for families in Massachusetts and across the country. President Trump needs to stop playing political games with America’s health.”
The Affordable Care Act provided cost-sharing reduction payments to help offset out-of-pocket health care costs for Americans earning below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Republican leadership, sued the Obama administration, claiming that these payments were illegal because they were not appropriated by Congress. In 2016, a federal district court judge sided with the House, and the Obama administration appealed, leaving it unresolved for the next administration. The Trump administration first delayed action on the suit in February 2017, in an attempt to give Republicans in Congress time to devise a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Today’s announcement will further delay this court case by an additional 90 days, threatening assistance for the seven million Americans benefiting from cost-sharing reduction payments for 2017. Removing these cost-sharing payments could cause premiums to rise by at least 19 percent.