In Strong-Arm Tactic, Trump Puts Congressional Health Benefits Into Play

President Donald Trump flanked by Sen. Tom Cotton R Ark. left and Sen. David Perdue R-Ga. speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington Wednesday during the unveiling of legislation that would place new limits on legal immigration

In Strong-Arm Tactic, Trump Puts Congressional Health Benefits Into Play

OH recruited at least one plan to sell in 19 of its 20 empty counties (and, in the case of Hancock County, got two insurers to sign up). So President Barack Obama made a decision to let individual congressional offices be counted as small businesses, thereby allowing members and their staff to qualify for the subsidies.

Congress too often exempts itself from laws it imposes on the American people, Biggs said.

Alexander also urged President Trump to continue what's known as "cost-sharing reduction" payments to insurance companies through September.

Anthem, which has already announced it will withdraw from three of its 14 states next year, said last week that it needs more predictability, particularly on the subsidies.

President Donald Trump's power to clamp off critical Obamacare subsidies took a hit after a federal court ruled that a group of states can join a legal battle over the payments.

CORNISH: For people listening who do have insurance coverage through an Affordable Care Act or Obamacare exchange, should they expect any changes to their health care or insurance just in the coming months? The federal money offsets the money insurers lose by lowering the deductibles and co-payments they require of these policyholders.

By threatening the subsidized health insurance of members of Congress if they fail to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump may be playing a shrewd political hand as he tries to advance his tattered agenda while winning points with his anti-government base. What's more, lawmakers and staffers who chose this path were entitled to a premium subsidy of 72 percent from their "business" - which in this case was the federal government. As his own party recognizes, sowing chaos is only going to create voter anger at the party in control of government.

The subsidies, totaling about $7 billion a year, help reduce deductibles and copayments for consumers with modest incomes. They are required to do so by a provision in the health law itself. The particular bailouts he has in mind are the "cost sharing reduction" (CSR) payments that his predecessor illegally distributed to insurers selling coverage on Obamacare exchanges.

The states have showed "a substantial risk" that an end to the subsidy payments "would lead directly and imminently to an increase in insurance prices, which in turn will increase the number of uninsured individuals for whom the states will have to provide healthcare", the court said.

Meantime his negativity about insurance companies raises a different matter entirely. The Senate version was only a shade better, leaving 22 million people out. Under the law, no other employers are allowed to reimburse employees for Obamacare premiums.

The subsidy came from the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

About half a million fewer people signed up for coverage on the exchanges for 2017 compared to the year before - the first drop since Obamacare began. Everyone needs basic medical services on a regular basis, and we need to make sure the same quality is available to everyone - even in hard to reach or low-income areas.

One of them shrank today with news from OH, where insurance regulators announced they had found plans to cover 19 of the 20 counties that had zero insurers signed up to sell 2018 Obamacare coverage. Instead, they get the regular employer contribution they did before, much in the same way other workers do when their companies buy insurance.

In 2016 a judge ruled in favor of the House, saying the CSR payments were illegal because Congress did not appropriate them.

"I'm for helping the poor; always have been", Hatch said.

"President Trump is right: the subsidies must be eliminated to incentivize members of Congress to keep their promise and repeal Obamacare", Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said in a statement posted on his website Tuesday.

In addition to refusing to commit to paying the cost-sharing subsidies, the administration has left insurers wondering whether it will enforce the individual mandate.

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