Former Senior Digital Director
May 23, 2017
This week, House Republicans and the White House asked again for the federal appeals court for the DC circuit to continue a hold on litigation challenging the constitutionality of the payment of cost-sharing reductions (CSR) to health plans in the exchange’s individual market. This jointly filed request to delay the decision suggests a hesitation to terminate CSRs.
The joint status filing states, “the parties continue to discuss measures that would obviate the need for judicial determination of this appeal, including potential legislative action.” This may be an indication that the House and administration understand that stopping these payments would cause tremendous harm to millions of Americans, destabilize the already failing individual market, and increase premiums in 2018 by double digits. The Washington Postreports on the importance of CSRs:
Consumers who buy their own insurance may soon be forced out of the market, whether through high premiums or by not having any coverage choices at all. With filing deadlines as soon as June, the U.S. Chamber sent a letter, urging action to guarantee consistent funding through 2018:
Millions of Americans relying on the coverage offerings in the individual market shouldn’t lose their health plan or even worse face a very possible reality of having no health plan at all to enroll in for 2018. CSRs are an important stabilizing mechanism that must not be held hostage by political vitriol for prior legislative and administrative errors. Congress and the President must act soon to protect the individual market from collapsing. Failing to fund these CSRs will be more costly to taxpayers in the long run and is simply irresponsible, as the infographic below illustrates: