Trump administration yanks health care away from more Americans

The Trump administration finds another way to throw sand in Obamacare's gears at patients' expense

CMS said in a statement that the funds were being cut because people are more familiar with the exchange program, and that the programs enrolled less than 1% of participants past year. The group further added that it was worrying to see that the decision was made during a time when they were reviewing the premiums for the year 2019. In January a federal court in MA ruled the formula wasn't arbitrary and capricious.

This follows a reduction announced by the CMS last August from $62.5 million, along with an even bigger cut to advertising for enrollment, and represents the latest in a series of moves to weaken the ACA by the administration of President Donald Trump.

In addition to encouraging private insurers to shun less healthy people, it will raise premiums.

"We're urging CMS to find a legal or regulatory path that allows immediate action to reinstate these payment transfers and ensure that coverage for millions of Americans is not disrupted", Kris Haltmeyer, vice president for legislative and regulatory policy at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, said in a statement. The agency has worked with insurers to address their concerns and to adjust the formula under both the Obama and Trump administrations. These are people who are not going to go to an insurance agent or broker. The mandate requires people without insurance from their employer or a government program to obtain health coverage or pay a penalty.

Also last month, the Trump administration announced it was releasing rules making it easier for small businesses and self-employed individuals to buy insurance plans that do not comply with Obamacare's regulations. Texas could reach the Court in an upcoming term, potentially placing Kavanaugh in a crucial role to determine whether Americans with pre-existing conditions have the right to access affordable, quality health care.

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These "association health plans" are just one more facet of Trump's Obamacare sabotage, cheap plans with limited coverage meant to draw healthy people out of the Obamacare markets.

"Given the continued attacks on healthcare, including federal rules allowing the resurgence of low-priced, junk health insurance plans, such as "association health plans" and "short-term plans", consumers looking for good, comprehensive coverage could be easily confused", Frederick Isasi, executive director of Families USA, a Democrat-leaning healthcare advocacy organization, told CNN. "The administration has said they were disappointed with the New Mexico ruling, and they want to work it out", said Greg Fann, consulting actuary for Axene Health Partners and fellow of the Society of Actuaries. The Maryland Insurance Administration has a hearing scheduled for July 31. This is another act of sabotage by the administration.

While the move will prevent larger, institutional payers like Anthem from collecting millions of dollars from the program to pay for higher-need members, it could be a short-term boon for small plans and ACA co-ops, which have historically been on the paying end of the funding mechanism.

There has been no demonstrable outrage from leading Democrats on Trump's intensifying campaign to transform Medicaid into a cut-rate voucher program or other aspects of the administration's crusade against the poor and dismantling of what remains of the social safety net.

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