Tuesday, May 30, 2017

House Republicans Suing to End Federal Government’s Cost Sharing Reduction Plan for Health Insurance

The Result:  No Money Saved, Extra Cost of $31 Billion Over 10 Years

How Stupid Can They Be – Actually Pretty Stupid

Unknown to most folks, the House Republicans sued the Obama administration claiming the administration did not have the authority to make cost sharing reduction payments to insurers even though the health care law required it.  The health care law currently in existence provides for lower income enrollees to get lower deductibles and co-pays and for the insurance companies and the government to share that burden.

Since Republicans object in principle to any program that benefits low income individuals they sued to stop the payments, saying they were not appropriated.  The case is now known as House v. Price and is in suspension while the Trumpies figure out what to do.  But we now know one thing, if the House wins the nation loses.

The reason for this is that if the payments are not made to the insurance companies they will raise rates.  This will cause the subsidies to increase.  Here is the net result from the Kaiser Foundation.

We estimate that the increased cost to the federal government of higher premium tax credits would actually be 23% more than the savings from eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments. For fiscal year 2018, that would result in a net increase in federal costs of $2.3 billion. Extrapolating to the 10-year budget window (2018-2027) using CBO’s projection of CSR payments, the federal government would end up spending $31 billion more if the payments end.

Just look at next year alone.

Wow, using taxpayer money to pay for lawyers to sue the government to make low income people worse off and to make the rest of us have higher taxes.  Republicans reach a new low.

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