Thursday, August 3, 2017

States, Health And Business Industry Groups: Don't Implode Obamacare!

The following joint statement was issued by America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Benefits Council, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
“Cost-sharing reductions are used to help those who need it most—low- and moderate-income consumers. These funds, which are built into their benefits, reduce their out-of-pocket costs such as copayments and deductibles when they receive care. Without these funds, consumers’ access to care is jeopardized, their premiums will increase dramatically, and they will be left with even fewer coverage options. 
“These benefits are essential to making coverage and care affordable for American families who receive them. Clarity and commitment to this funding is needed to eliminate confusion and anxiety for consumers. 
“As medical professionals, insurers providing health care services and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, and business leaders concerned with maintaining a stable health insurance marketplace for consumers, we believe it is imperative that the Administration fund the cost-sharing reduction program."
As petulant Man Baby Donald "Rump" Trump "ponders" his next ignorant move on how best to trash his predecessor's legacy and the health care of tens of millions of Americans, it's worth noting that similar appeals by these groups to the extremist Republican thugs in the House and Senate apparently made exactly zero difference in their rush to crash the health care system.

Complicating matters more for Rump, the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently issued a decision (with an assist from the Twit- in- Chief himself) that put the brakes on his potential sabotaging of the Obamacare cost- sharing subsidies:
The procedural decision late Tuesday by a federal appeals panel in Washington has implications for millions of consumers. The judges said that a group of states can defend the legality of government "cost-sharing" subsidies for copays and deductibles under the Affordable Care Act if the Trump administration decides to stop paying the money. 
Trump has been threatening to do just that for months, and he amped up his warnings after the GOP's drive to repeal and replace "Obamacare" fell apart in the Senate last week. The subsidies help keep premiums in check, but they are under a legal cloud because of a dispute over the wording of the ACA. Trump has speculated that he could force Democrats to make a deal on health care by stopping the payments. 
The court's decision is "a check on the ability of the president to sabotage the Affordable Care Act in one very important way," said Tim Jost, professor emeritus at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia, a supporter of the ACA who has followed the issue closely.  (our emphasis)
A bipartisan group of governors is also calling on the shitgibbon to keep up the subsidy payments.

While it's important to have stakeholders like these weighing in, they may be more than counterbalanced by Rump's unbalanced, malignant narcissism and his desire to cause an "implosion" just because he can. We may know the answer soon enough. In the meantime, more proof, if any more were needed, that this is a long- term war with these knuckle- draggers, and that we need to be prepared to fight back whenever necessary.

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