GOP opposition to ACA subsidies suspends bipartisan health care agreement
Just after bipartisan senators released an eleventh hour effort to save medical coverage, it ground to a halt.
A bipartisan effort to rescue the American health care system following President Donald Trump’s annihilation of the ACA subsidies has stalled. Though the agreement had been underway, hours later, it was suspended as the president sent mixed signals and Republicans either opposed it or failed to endorse it.
The agreement was created due to a sense of urgency to recover after key payments to insurance companies were withdrawn.
As President Trump was repeatedly unable to come up with a repeal and replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act, he took it upon himself to sign executive orders to cut the pins out of the health care system by removing some of Obamacare’s central supports. This included the removal of the ACA subsidies that made it possible for lower income Americans to afford their health insurance premiums.
Trumps decision to remove that financial support to those individuals and families came with an argument that they were illegal under the Affordable Care Act in the first place.
The ACA subsidies compromise was proposed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA).
Together, the senators proposed authorizing the health insurance subsidies for two years in exchange for providing each of the states with a broader flexibility for regulating coverage under the federal health care law. This way, the states would have greater freedom to serve their own residents, while low income Americans would continue to receive the assistance needed to offset out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles.
The measure was stalled by Republicans who were forced to choose between upholding their promise to change the Affordable Care Act or continue forward with the subsidies at its very heart. With Trump offering conflicting opinions on the proposal, Senate Republican leaders did not immediately offer their endorsement. This conflict rapidly shed doubt on the plan.
Critics of President Trump’s decision to remove the ACA subsidies say insurance companies will be forced to withdraw from the exchanges across the United States. They say it will force premiums upward by an average of 20 percent and it will become far more costly to the federal government.