by William Teach | October 26, 2017 7:52 am
Who would have thought that a judge would not require the federal government to not make payments to insurance companies that another judge had already ruled unConstitutional
(The Hill) A federal court in California has struck down an emergency motion that would have forced the Trump administration to continue making ObamaCare subsidy payments to insurers.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria denied the motion for an injunction, saying that he was skeptical that cutting off the payments known as cost-sharing reductions (CSR) would cause an immediate injury to residents of the state.
He noted many states, including California, saw “the writing on the wall” and took actions to mitigate any potential harm if the payments were ended.
“To be sure, the absence of money for CSR payments does not seem to be causing health care reform to come crumbling down,” Chhabria wrote in his ruling.
California allowed insurers to add a surcharge to the mid-level silver plans, which increases the amount of tax credit subsidies available. So even though premiums would spike for silver plans, consumers would have other, cheaper options.
Many other states have done the same thing, and did it in response to a judge ruling that cost-sharing, ie, insurance company bailouts, was unconstitutional, as the Democrats had made no provision to actually force funding. They did it in this manner as to keep the roughly $7 billion a year payments off the CBO scorecard.
Chhabria said the ability of states to act in advance and shield consumers undercuts the argument that people will face higher premiums because the cost-sharing payments are ending.
He suggested if states are so concerned that people will be scared away from signing up for insurance on the exchanges because of the thought of higher premiums, they should “stop yelling about higher premiums.”
It’s interesting how Democrats weren’t actually concerned about the rising cost of premiums because of Obamacare, nor the high deductibles in Obamacare plans, but are now screeching about higher premiums because the insurance companies …. at least those left in this collapsing initiative … are getting their bailout money.
This does not mean that the judge might not rule in favor of the insurance company bailouts, er, cost sharing reductions, later, as the suit will go forward, per the judge’s order. But, they are stopped for now.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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