Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Trump administration takes another swipe at 'ObamaCare'

President Donald Trump speaks about health care from the White House in Washington. The Trump administration says it’s freezing payments under an Obamacare program that protects insurers with sicker patients Trump admin expected to suspend some ObamaCare risk adjustment payments: report | TheHill
Samantha Long | 09 July, 2018, 20:09

The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthcare law, saying that a recent federal court ruling prevents the money from being disbursed.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it had to put the payments on hold, after a US district court judge ruled the government arrived at the formula that guides the payouts in a flawed way.

The Trump administration is halting billions of dollars in payments required under the ACA, citing a district court decision in New Mexico from earlier this year.

The move is expected to add to premium increases next year.

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group representing insurers offering plans via employers, through government programs and in the individual marketplace, said the CMS suspension would create a "new market disruption" at a "critical time" when insurers are setting premiums for next year.

CMS, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the move was necessary because of a February ruling by a federal court in New Mexico, which found that the federal government was using an inaccurate formula for allocating the payments.

Jack Wilshere completes free transfer to West Ham on three-year deal
However, the club suits him down to the ground and he should settle in quickly, assuming he avoids injury. West Ham have been very active in the summer transfer window and have already made a number of signings.

Risk adjustment is an important part of the ACA. "It moves us back to some extent to the status quo where people with pre-existing conditions found it very hard to get insurance".

"This action will significantly increase 2019 premiums for millions of individuals and small business owners and could result in far fewer health plan choices", Serota said in a statement. "It will undermine Americans' access to affordable care, particularly for those who need medical care the most".

"I think insurers are going to be watching very closely what the administration says in court, and whether this is a sign of further steps to undermine the law, or a good faith effort to try to comply with the judge's order", he says. In October 2017, the White House announced it would end Obamacare cost-sharing payments that helped lower-income enrollees pay for health care.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Republican Party is responsible for problems associated with the Affordable Care Act.

Still, insurers are grappling with changes that the Trump administration and Congress have made to Obamacare for 2019.

Trump continues to attack Obamacare even as almost a dozen insurers have started to warm to the program with at least a dozen states seeing an increase in the number of insurers participating in the healthcare exchange.

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