Connecticut Will Sue Trump Administration For Ending Affordable Care Act Subsidies

Connecticut will join other states in a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the White House announced its intention to end key payments to insurance companies who sell plans on Affordable Care Act exchanges.

“President Trump’s latest action is incredibly mean-spirited,” state Attorney General George Jepsen said Friday. The lawsuit accuses Trump of violating President Barack Obama’s signature health care law as well as a law that governs the way presidential administrations can establish new regulations.

The more than 40,000 people in Connecticut who qualify for cost-sharing reduction payments will continue to receive them, but the move is anticipated to further destabilize insurance markets with the brunt of any premium increases borne by higher-income Obamacare customers, some of who may choose to stop buying health insurance.

Insurers who sell Affordable Care Act plans — including Anthem and ConnectiCare in Connecticut — faced months of uncertainty over whether or not the Trump administration would continue the cost-sharing reduction payments, which offset the expense to insurers to sell silver-level plans with reduced deductibles and copays to low-income customers.

President Donald Trump for months has decried the billions of dollars in payments, which go to about 6 million Americans, as a “bailout” for the insurance industry. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned premiums — and the federal deficit — would increase if the payments were cut off.

Anthem and ConnectiCare receive about $50 million in cost-sharing reduction payments for Connecticut customers. An Anthem spokeswoman referred to a joint statement from America’s Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

“These benefits help real people every day, and if they are ended, there will be real consequences,” the two insurance groups said. “These payments are not a bailout – they are passed from the federal government through health plans to medical providers to help lower costs for patients who see a doctor to treat their cancer or fill a prescription for a life-saving medication.”

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