The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday that it would provide only $10 million for the navigator program for this fall's open enrollment season.
It hardly matters that no tax money is used in these payments, the concept was flawed from the start. "As a result of this litigation, billions of dollars in risk adjustment payments and collections are now on hold", CMS administrator Seema Verma reportedly said in a statement.
The payments are meant to help stabilize health insurance markets by compensating insurers that had sicker, more expensive enrollees in 2017.More news: France edges Belgium, punches ticket into FIFA World Cup 2018 final
Since Congress was unable to pass such a law, Trump and his aides have been taking a series of steps to weaken the law through administration maneuvers.
"Risk adjustment under the ACA has been an example of a well-meaning regulation that has had destructive impacts directly contrary to its intent", Jonathan Halvorson, a health care public policy adviser at consulting firm Sachs Policy Group, stated in an article for The Health Care Blog. "There is a need to analyze insurers case-by-case and account for their competitive landscapes", said Tinglong Dai, an associate professor of operations management and business analytics at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.
Martin Hickey, the founder of New Mexico Health Connections, the state's health care co-op and the company that filed the lawsuit, believes the court ruling will reduce the prices and benefit consumers.
The Trump administration has made no secret of its hostility to the healthcare program, enacted in 2010.More news: US to impose tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a federation of 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide, also expressed disapproval at the move, saying it could create "turmoil" in the market.
"This decision will have serious consequences for millions of consumers who get their coverage through small businesses or buy coverage on their own", America's Health Insurance Plans said. New Mexico's ruling alone isn't enough to freeze payments, unless, he says, it's a "politically motivated" move to further disrupt the ACA.
"This decision comes at a critical time when insurance providers are developing premiums for 2019 and states are reviewing rates". "In light of this analysis, the Government can not lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments", the White House said after ending the payments in October 2017.
Many Trump followers often cheer cuts to Obamacare, not knowing that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are one in the same. On the same day, Minuteman Health, Inc. filed a similar complaint in district court in MA.More news: Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys and their coach rescued
CMS provided a timeline, noting that after the February 28 decision by the New Mexico federal court, it filed a motion for reconsideration, and on June 21 the court held a hearing on it. CMS is waiting for the court's ruling, it said. The CMS has asked Judge Browning to reconsider his ruling and is awaiting a decision.