Trump Administration Aims to Steer People Toward Junk Health Plans Over Obamacare

Alberto Abin walks out of the Uni Vista Insurance company office after shopping for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare

Trump Administration To Stop Paying Some Obamacare Bills

Last August, federal health officials announced that they were reducing the navigators' aid by 41 percent, from $62.5 million, and slashing by 90 percent a related budget for advertising and other outreach activities to foster ACA enrollment. All of these acts take direct aim at the heart of the Affordable Care Act and the viability of individual health insurance markets everywhere.

But navigators say this understates their accomplishments.

The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as "Obamacare", outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S. on October 4, 2013. But the Trump administration is hanging its decision to withhold subsidies to insurers on court decisions from New Mexico and MA which say the way those payments are handed out is too vague.

Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has reduced program funding by 80 percent, The New York Times reported, and now allocates $10 million to the initiative. "CMS has asked the court to reconsider its ruling, and hopes for a prompt resolution that allows CMS to prevent more adverse impacts on Americans who receive their insurance in the individual and small group markets".

Tennessee's market had appeared to be stabilizing with two new insurers entering the market next year and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee said it expected relatively stable rates next year. There was a time when insurance companies refused coverage or jacked up the rates for people who had pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, HIV or Alzheimer's and even for babies born with a congenital heart disease.

Since then, the Department of Labor has issued a rule to broaden the use of one such kind of insurance, called "association health plans". The Maryland Insurance Administration has a hearing scheduled for July 31.

Last month, President Trump announced the Department of Justice (DOJ) was supporting a lawsuit that challenges preexisting conditions protections under Obamacare.

The announcement also said navigators helped enroll fewer than 1 percent of the almost 12 million Americans who signed up for ACA coverage for 2018 - a figure that navigators contend understates their accomplishments. The funding will be delivered to eligible organizations that can help individuals enroll in ACA health plans.

Whatever happens with the risk adjustment payments, it looks as if many exchange consumers will be left to figure out their options for 2019 on their own. The group includes former Republican Senator Rick Santorum along with representatives from the Goldwater Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. And the number of insurers planning to offer policies through the Obamacare exchanges has increased. That's because many ACA customers will qualify for federal government premium subsidies, which are still alive and well in Obamacare. The imposition of work requirements will not "dignify" program recipients and "lift them out of poverty", but will in many cases bump them off the benefit rolls through onerous requirements.

Democrats were quick to denounce the administration's latest action. Sen.

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