President Trump Extends Insurer Deadline for Obamacare Market

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President Donald Trump extended the deadline for insurance companies to offer plans on the Obamacare exchanges while he decides whether to eliminate subsidies for health insurance companies.

The Trump administration extended the deadline to tweak its proposed premium rates for the Obamacare exchanges from August 16 to September 5.

President Trump has yet to decide whether he will continue Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program, which he has repeatedly threatened to remove. The cost-sharing reduction program reimburses insurers that provide low-income Americans discounts on copayments and deductibles.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) suggested that the payments for this year will total $7 billion. The CBO will release an estimate this week of how removing the Obamacare subsidies would affect the individual health insurance market.

Trump previously called for removing the Obamacare subsidies to force Democrats to work with Republicans on a solution to repeal and replace Obamacare. He said, “Obamacare is dead next month if it doesn’t get that money.” He continued, “I haven’t made my viewpoint clear yet. I don’t want people to get hurt. … What I think should happen and will happen is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating”:

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) will negotiate with former Tuesday Group Co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) to include more conservative reforms in a potential Obamacare stabilization package. The potential stabilization package will include funding for the Obamacare subsidies in exchange for expanded state waivers to lower premiums for Americans.

The White House needs to decide by August 20 if they want to continue appealing a court verdict regarding the Obamacare insurance subsidies. If the Trump administration decides not to appeal the case, the subsidies will end.

“Since Obamacare went into effect under the previous administration, skyrocketing healthcare costs and fewer choices have become the norm,” Health and Human Services (HHS) spokeswoman Alleigh Marré said in a statement.

Marré added that President Trump remains “committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare and will always be focused on putting patients, families, and doctors, not Washington, in charge of healthcare.”

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