August 15, 2017: On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) released a report that estimated the economic impacts of ending cost-sharing reduction (“CSR”) payments.
For months, President Donald Trump has threatened to end these crucial payments if Congress did not pass a bill that repealed and replaced the ACA. Recently, after the Senate’s failure to pass a healthcare reform bill, President Trump has redoubled his efforts, saying that he would end “bailouts for insurance companies.” For more information related to the underlying controversy, read HRT’s summary of the House of Representatives v. Price case here.
The CBO reports that should Trump end CSR payments, premiums would increase by 20% in 2018. It also estimates that from 2018 to 2026, the federal deficit would increase by $194 billion. However, the CBO also projects that although some insurers would withdraw from the marketplaces, by 2020, “almost all areas” would have at least one option for insurance. This is in contrast to some health policy experts’ claims that ending CSRs would lead to collapses of the Exchanges.
August 15, 2017: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently visited the Central Valley for his election campaign. As he spoke to the public, he asserted that he supported the debate over California adopting a single payer healthcare system. He also warned that although he supported “Medicare for all,” he admitted that he did not have a detailed plan.
Throughout June and July, the California Nurses Association continued to lead a series of protests after California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelved the Healthy California Act (SB-562) on June 23, 2017. The bill, which was passed by the California Senate in early June, would create a single payer, universal healthcare program for everyone in the state. Assembly Speaker Rendon put the bill on hold for the remainder of the year after acknowledging that there remain many unanswered questions about how the program will work and be funded.
— You can read HRT’s executive summary of the bill here.
— For full text of the bill, you can visit the California Legislative Branch website.
— You can also read about who supports and who disapproves of SB-562 here.
August 2, 2017: Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement that explained that in September the Senate Health Committee will hold bipartisan hearings related to stabilizing the individual market. In the House of Representatives, a 40-person group, comprised of both parties, has endorsed an outline of ideas aimed at making urgent fixes to the ACA, which include paying cost-sharing reduction (“CSR”) payments to insurers, stabilizing the individual marketplace through dedicated funds for states, an adjustment to the employer mandate, repealing the 2.3% Medical Device Tax, and providing technical changes for states to improve their exchanges.