Funding Obamacare Exchange Subsidies

by Paul Martorell

It’s time for President Trump to commit to making the Obamacare cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) through 2017. These payments reimburse insurance companies for making premiums affordable for millions enrolled in Obamacare exchanges. So far his administration has only committed to the CSR subsidy payments on a month-to-month basis. Insurance companies are leaving markets because of this uncertainty, such as in Wisconsin (“Molina to drop out of Wisconsin’s Obamacare marketplace,” Aug 2).

After the Obamacare repeal failed, Trump threatened to stop funding the CSR subsidies altogether, which are not “bailouts to insurance companies” but a way for low to middle-income Americans – including a member of my family – to get health care.

This is why, as long as Obamacare is still running, leaders from both parties are imploring the administration to fund these CSR subsidies. A bipartisan group of 40 House lawmakers called the “Problem Solver’s Caucus” released a plan that, among other pieces, mandates sufficient CSR funding. The National Governor’s Association issued a statement reading “It is critically important to provide insurers and states with certainty that CSRs will be funded.” By threatening CSR funding, President Trump is jeopardizing the lives of millions of his fellow Americans.