Report: President's crucial decision on healthcare subsidies pushed back 3 months

The subsidies help people get affordable health plans through programs such as MinnesotaCare.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A crucial decision on whether the federal government will continue to pay out billions of dollars to insurance companies so they can provide affordable health plans to low-income Americans has been pushed back.

Politico reports the Trump administration and the House of Representatives on Monday asked for another 90-day delay in a lawsuit over "cost-sharing subsidies" created under the Affordable Care Act.

When President Obama was in power, House Republicans sued the government saying the $7 billion in payments to insurance companies was unconstitutional, which a federal judge agreed with. The Obama administration was given time to appeal – with the subsidies continuing until that appeal came to a resolution.

What if the appeal is dropped?

With Donald Trump now in power, there's been a question over whether he would drop the appeal. Doing so could have a knock-on effect on health exchanges and programs across the country, including those in Minnesota.

Minnesota is one of 15 states to have intervened in the legal wrangle, last week joining a separate lawsuit trying to keep the payments going.

The states argue that stopping the subsidies would lead to higher premiums for poor Americans, more uninsured people, higher costs for states, and insurance companies potentially leaving health exchange markets altogether.

In Minnesota, it could put a stop to $120 million of annual funding used for MinnesotaCare. That program subsidizes health plans for residents who have low incomes, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

The decision to delay the appeal also has a bearing on health insurers that are trying to decide whether to continue offering plans through government programs in 2018.

A spokesperson for the Alliance of Community Health Plans told Politico they're now filing 2018 rates, but the uncertainty "is becoming nearly impossible for plans and the families that count on these subsidies."

Next Up

police tape, crime scene

Police: Man dies after breaking window during domestic assault in St. Paul

The man's official cause of death will be ruled by a medical examiner.

Rep. Joe McDonald

'No respect': MN lawmaker shows up to debate in pirate costume

He was called out on Twitter by Rep. Kaohly Vang Her.

Rocco Baldelli

Twins-Athletics postponed for Monday amid COVID issues

The Twins are hoping to play a doubleheader with the A's on Tuesday.

Rep. Maxine Waters

Maxine Waters speaks in Brooklyn Center, draws ire of right-wing media

The congresswoman visited protesters Saturday night.

Justin Fields

5 quarterbacks the Vikings could select in the 2021 NFL Draft

Will the Vikings get a successor for Kirk Cousins?

Chet Holmgren

ESPN to televise Chet Holmgren's college decision on Monday

Holmgren has narrowed his list of suitors to seven schools.

Related

What Trump's decision to scrap cost-sharing subsidies means for MinnesotaCare

The health program for low-income Minnesotans gets $120M from cost-sharing reductions.

100,000 on MinnesotaCare could lose coverage if AHCA becomes law, commissioner says

Cuts to Medicaid could lead to the elimination of Basic Health Programs like MinnesotaCare.

Medica sues Minnesota DHS for offering its competitors better rates

The insurer's withdrawal from the MinnesotaCare and Medicaid programs affected 300,000 patients.

Trump can halt funding used to help keep health insurance premiums low, judge says

The funds were put in place to help keep health plan costs affordable.

Dayton wants MinnesotaCare open to everyone – what that means, and how it would work

MinnesotaCare is currently a health insurance option for low-income Minnesotans.

Where do the Minnesota governor candidates stand on healthcare?

It's arguably the most important issue facing voters in November.

MN joins lawsuit to stop a ruling that could end MinnesotaCare

MinnesotaCare offers health insurance to low-incomes Minnesotans who don't qualify for Medicaid.