Thursday, President Trump announced that he will stop paying subsidies to health insurance companies which help pay medical costs for people who are low-income.
After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration has taken various regulatory actions to undermine the ACA. According to the New York Times, these also include an executive order that rolled back health insurance requirements, cutting spending on enrollment advertising and loosening individual mandate enforcement.
Ending these subsidies, which are currently costing the government $7 billion annually, is the latest move in the Trump administration’s efforts to unravel the ACA. Some insurers have said that without government support, they will charge higher premiums and might withdraw from ACA insurance exchanges. Trump said that ending subsidies will lower costs and diversify health care insurance options for Americans.
This news comes on the heels of Covered CA announcing Wednesday that their Silver-tier plans will face an additional surcharge “due to the ongoing uncertainty at the federal level.”
How will this subsidy rollback affect Covered California? Is this a step forward or backward for health coverage in the U.S.? And what does this news mean for insurance exchanges and the future of the Affordable Care Act?
Sally C. Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, a nonprofit think tank focused on free-market solutions to policy problems