States Lose In Attempt To Force Subsidy Payments to Continue

Oct 26, 2017

A federal judge in California denied an emergency motion that would have required the Trump administration to continue making payments to insurers. The judge pointed out that California took steps to mitigate any problems. “To be sure, the absence of money for CSR payments does not seem to be causing health care reform to come crumbling down,” wrote District Judge Vince Chhabria. Insurers in California added “a surcharge to the mid-level silver plans, which increases the amount of tax credit subsidies available.” The judge ruled that “the ability of states to act in advance and shield consumers undercuts the argument that people will face higher premiums because the cost-sharing payments are ending.” 18 states joined in the California motion to prevent the subsidies from being halted. Congress has never appropriated the funding of subsidy payments to insurers. The Obama administration was making them. Congress sued and won a ruling that found the Obama administration’s payments to insurers to be illegal. So far Congress has not acted to restore the subsidy payments.