What Trump's new executive order means for the ACA and Covered CA

I MEANT TO DO THAT Trump hustled back to the desk where the executive order and a pen had been waiting for him the whole time

That's because the people who need more comprehensive care-older, sicker-would buy those plans, while healthier, younger people would likely choose the cheaper ones.

Trump's directive expands cross-state access to association health plans, which allow small businesses and trade groups to partner up and purchase health insurance. "Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped".

The Trump administration took over the lawsuit and had delayed deciding whether to continue the Obama administration's appeal or terminate the subsidies, but in April President Trump began threatening to stop the payments. The cost-sharing reduction payments, paid to insurers, were a component of Obamacare that made health insurance more affordable for qualified individuals and families.

House Republicans trying to thwart the ACA sued the Obama administration in federal court in Washington, arguing that the law lacked specific language appropriating the cost-sharing subsidies. His kind words for Puerto Rico stood in stark contrast to his tweets the day before when he declared that federal personnel would not be able to stay "forever" to help the island, which remains largely without power weeks after the storm.

Faced with gridlock from his own party, the president has turned to executive orders to drive policy and national conversation, raising further debate over the place of health care in such a polarized era. Trump said Thursday's move was "only the beginning" and that his administration would take additional steps.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Covered California said it will ask insurers to add surcharges to some policies in 2018, because the Trump administration hasn't pledged yet to pay certain ACA consumer subsidies. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, around 70% of people on the exchanges pay less than $75 per month for insurance. The iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers (IHF) is down 1.6% this morning, with health insurer Centene (CNC) leading the downward charge, falling 7.2%, followed by a 3.1% drop by Anthem (ANTM), a 1.9% decline for Aetna (AET) and a 1.6% loss for UnitedHealth Group (UNH).

The president has been threatening all year to cut off the payments, which he refers to as a bailout.

"How times have changed, but you know what, now they are changing back again, just remember that", Trump told the cheering crowd. "It should come as no surprise that California is prepared to fight in court to protect affordable healthcare for its people", Becerra said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on the other hand praised the president's decision.

Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Medicare administrator Seema Verma said the payments will be discontinued "immediately". But they could have the same sort of impact if they become widespread. Insurers can recover the cost-sharing money by raising premiums, since those are also subsidized by the ACA, and there's no legal question about their appropriation.

According to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank, premiums would likely rise 19% to compensate for the loss of funding.

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