The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is under siege. There is no need for a link here to back that up. You already know this if you haven’t been asleep for the last eight years. The law has withstood the faint-hearted assaults of the Congressional Republicans and a variety of presidential candidates. And now health insurance, the way most Americans pay for and access care, is being attacked by a guy wielding nothing but bluster and a dull knife. Obamacare vs. Trumpcare. In the eternal battle between something and nothing, something always wins.
It has been a little over two weeks since the Trump administration, specifically the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would stop collecting and distributing money from the Permanent Risk Adjustment Program. The government decided to retain $10,400,000,000 of the insurance companies’ money. There are no taxpayer subsidies involved.
That has now been reversed.
In an email release Tuesday (because Tweets are reserved for the really important stuff!) CMS announced that it would release the money and reaffirm one of the basic pillars of Obamacare. Here is a link to the final rule.
In CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s press release she notes, “Issuers (sic) that had expressed concerns about having to withdraw from markets or becoming insolvent should be assured by our actions today”.
The Cliff Notes Version: Nothing has changed! Sure there were a couple of weeks of unneeded aggravation and another attempt to undermine the stability of the insurance markets, but in the end… It is as if there really are adults, somewhere in Washington, who step in and stop Donald Trump before he can do too much damage.
We are a little over 90 days from the next Open Enrollment Period, the first without a penalty for failing to carry compliant coverage (Individual Mandate). We are bracing ourselves for the last acts of sabotage, the last attacks on our system prior to facing our clients. Thankfully, all he’s got is a dull knife.
Picture – David L Cunix – The Weapon