Last week, the Administration announced that it will halt funding of the cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs, that benefit nearly 6 million low- and modest-income Americans who buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Federal law requires insurers to reduce out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and copayments, for low-income individuals purchasing coverage, and these payments reimburse insurers for those costs.
Ending CSR funding will drive up premiums for everybody in the marketplaces and may increase the risk of some areas having no coverage options at all. And it will increase the federal budget deficit, because as premiums go up, the government will spend more on the advanced premium tax credits.
Because ensuring comprehensive and affordable coverage options for all is so important, the AHA has joined a coalition of other providers of health care and coverage to call on Congress to restore crucial CSR funding.
This week we were encouraged by bipartisan movement in the Senate to spur action led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). We will continue to urge Congress to appropriate funding for the CSRs for the rest of 2017 and at least the next two years.
Let’s not destabilize the health care system we already have – let’s work together to make it better.