The Friends Committee on National Legislation strongly condemns President Trump’s recent executive order to halt federal cost-sharing reduction payments and calls on Congress to pass the bipartisan Alexander-Murray deal.
The president’s executive action is the latest example of undermining the Affordable Care Act and severely threatening the health insurance market. Like legislative attempts to repeal the ACA, the president’s decision will result in rising insurance premiums, coverage losses, and instability in the individual marketplace. By not subsidizing cost-sharing reductions that enable insurance companies to provide low-income enrollees affordable coverage and by allowing junk plans that don’t comply with the ACA, the president’s actions will force insurers to raise their premiums or pull out of the individual marketplaces entirely.
Amelia Kegan, FCNL’s Legislative Director for domestic policy, made the following statement:
“This decision is irresponsible and cruel to the millions of Americans who will see their insurance premiums increase as a result or who will lose their insurance coverage, and it puts the stability of the Affordable Care Act marketplaces at risk. The federal payments of cost-sharing reductions help keep insurance costs lower for all enrollees in the individual exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act while making it financially viable for insurance companies to participate in the exchanges. Without those payments, insurance companies will choose to leave the marketplace or pass their costs on to patients. As a result, premiums will rise, people will lose their insurance coverage if they cannot afford it, and the marketplaces will become less stable.
“The president’s executive action is deeply destructive, but it does not diminish the major successes that engaged citizens have secured thus far this year, especially in protecting Medicaid. By calling members of Congress, writing letters to the editor, and lobbying in local and DC congressional offices, we have defeated every major attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now constituents across the country must speak up yet again.
“The president’s decision only underscores the urgent need for people to stay engaged and call on their members of Congress to once again protect our care. Senators Patty Murray (WA) and Lamar Alexander (TN) are working on bipartisan legislation to permanently authorize cost-sharing reductions and other commonsense measures to stabilize the marketplaces. Congress must put politics aside and work together in good faith to stabilize the insurance marketplaces. Now is the time to call and visit members of Congress and ask them to work together to guarantee cost-saving reduction payments, lower premiums, and stabilize the insurance marketplace.”