October 13, 2017
The Trump administration announced it will immediately stop paying health insurance subsidies, called cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), for people who qualify through exchanges. Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s statement on the decision:
OLYMPIA, Wash. – “President Trump’s decision to halt federal funding is a devastating blow to thousands of people in Washington state and further threatens the stability of our individual health insurance market.
“I will be considering further action to challenge the decision and protect consumers and our individual health insurance market.
“For months, consumers and insurers have lived with the threat to end CSRs. The threat is now a reality. Last year, more than 70,000 people enrolled through our state-based health insurance exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, and had lower out-of-pocket costs because of the $65 million in cost-sharing payments insurers received.
“The president’s short-sighted decision, combined with his executive orders announced Oct. 12, are certain to result in higher premium payments for consumers and will force our insurers to determine whether they will remain in an unstable market. Consumers and insurers are at great risk of harm because of the president’s actions.
“Contrary to what the president says, these payments are not ‘kickbacks’ to health insurers but rather a lifeline for many consumers to afford coverage. The president’s combined decisions ignore consumer-protection recommendations from insurance regulators, doctors, health insurers, business organizations and advocates across the country.
“I’ve said this before – it is time to put aside political differences and come together to fix the Affordable Care Act, which remains the law of land. President Trump is putting peoples’ lives at risk.”