October 13, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Health Care Reform
President Donald Trump announced yesterday that his administration will cease making critical cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to health insurers that help low-income Americans afford health care. This announcement also followed yesterday’s executive order seeking to loosen the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance regulations.
“Rather than taking action to make health care more affordable and accessible, the President’s actions threaten to destabilize the insurance market, increase health care costs and reduce patient access to care,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President Ruth Haskins, M.D. “We urge our leaders in Washington to put patients before politics.”
A Covered California study found that eliminating federal funding for CSR payments would raise premiums for Silver plan consumers by 16.6 percent in 2018, requiring patients to seek Advanced Premium Tax Credits in order to afford coverage, switch to lower tiered plans with higher cost-sharing, or forgo health care coverage altogether.
Data shows that imposing higher out-of-pocket costs on patients results in patients delaying or skipping recommended medical tests, prescription medication and treatment. Nearly 50 percent of the 1.4 million individuals who are enrolled in Covered California currently receive cost-sharing assistance to reduce out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments for doctor visits and deductibles.
“These changes will have devastating consequences for patients,” said Dr. Haskins. “Eliminating CSR payments may cause millions of patients to become underinsured or uninsured by pricing low- and moderate-income families out of the market. We urge the Trump Administration to work constructively with Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to expeditiously finalize a bipartisan package that stabilizes the individual market and protect affordable care for all.”
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The California Medical Association (CMA) represents the state’s physicians with more than 43,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please visit Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.