Subsidies for Insurers in ACA Exchanges Should Continue, Says House Speaker Ryan

There’s a chance that health care insurers participating in the ACA exchanges might continue to get the billions of dollars in government subsidies that has made that participation possible. House Speaker Paul Ryan wants the Trump administration to continue making those payments so as not to destabilize the insurance market, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some large insurance companies, such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, have already left the exchanges and others are considering it. Even a company such as Molina Healthcare, which has seen some success up until recently, are starting to get a bit nervous.

The payments amount to about $130 billion from now until 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The GOP has challenged the payments in court, but the suit was put on hold while the GOP’s American Health Care Act was being weighed. The act was pulled last week after it became apparent that the GOP could not marshal enough votes for passage.

So what about the lawsuit?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ryan yesterday said: “While the lawsuit is being litigated then the administration funds these benefits. That’s how they’ve been doing it and I don’t see any change in that.”

Trump could ignore the advice and unilaterally end the payments, but such a move would be politically dicey. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland reminded fellow lawmakers: “Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. As a result, they are the governing party and will be responsible for anything that happens to our health care system on their watch.”

Source: Wall Street Journal(link is external)

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