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Trump Administration Continues to Play Politics with Healthcare

Shriver Center Calls on Congress to Shore Up Health Marketplace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
October 13, 2017

Contact: Michelle Nicolet
(P) 312.368.2675
mnicolet@povertylaw.org

Chicago, IL  — Continuing a cruel and vindictive campaign to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump Administration announced late Thursday night that they would immediately discontinue the health law’s cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments—subsidies that help roughly 7 million low-income consumers afford deductibles, copayments, and other costs associated with receiving care.

The move, which flies in the face of both popular and expert opinion, will cause health premiums to soar, destabilize the individual marketplace, and ultimately jeopardize access to healthcare for millions of families and individuals, especially for those with low income. Though many consumers will be insulated from the eventual premium hikes by their tax subsidies, ending CSR payments could send insurance companies fleeing from the marketplace in the years to come and drive up health costs for virtually everyone else.  

The announcement to kill the CSR payments came just hours after President Trump signed an executive order that has the potential to effectively gut many of the consumer protections ushered in by the ACA, including those for pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps. Thursday was just the latest chapter in the Trump Administration’s long-running campaign to sabotage and undermine the landmark health law—ranging from gutting enrollment and outreach budgets, to all-out legislative repeal attempts. And even while Thursday’s actions will have little legal bearing on 2018, they have the potential to further stoke confusion among consumers, sending a clear message that the Trump Administration is not interested in effectively implementing the ACA.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law denounces this reckless decision and calls on Congress to advance bipartisan efforts to stabilize the marketplace. Meanwhile, we will continue to work tirelessly to maximize enrollment and pursue other legal challenges to preserve and build on the historic progress produced by the ACA.

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The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org

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