States Sue Trump for Cutting Off Healthcare Subsidies
by Stephen Lendman
If America had universal healthcare like all other developed nations and many others, the only issue would be improving it, making it the world’s best.
Instead, it’s a national disgrace, by far the world’s most expensive, increasingly unaffordable for tens of millions of households – forced to go uninsured or way underinsured, leaving them vulnerable in case of serious illnesses or injuries.
Medicaid is bare bones, woefully inadequate and unacceptable. So are the actions of the world’s richest nation waging class war, eroding social justice, devoting its resources increasingly for militarism, endless wars of aggression, and corporate favoritism – the country thirdworldized to pursue this agenda.
Monied interests never had things better, the system rigged to serve them at the expense of most others, a deplorable system worsening, not improving.
Trump’s ending healthcare subsidies for low-income households was a contemptible act, a scheme to pressure Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with a more dysfunctional system than already, freeing up billions in federal revenues for greater warmaking and tax cuts for the rich.
States are outraged, 19 attorneys general suing in federal court to reverse his action. Maybe others will join them.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said “(h)undreds of thousands of New York families rely on the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for their health care.” Cutting them off is “unacceptable.”
“I will not allow President Trump to once again use New York families as political pawns in his dangerous, partisan campaign to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act at any cost.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “(t)aking these legally required subsidies away from working families’ health plans and forcing them to choose between paying rent or their medical bills is completely reckless. This is sabotage, plain and simple.”
Other states suing so far include Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington plus the District of Columbia.
The suit targets Trump, Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Department, and DOES 1 – 20 (meaning other potentially liable administration officials).
It states “(t)he Administration’s new refusal to make the required federal payments directly subverts the ACA, and will injure the Plaintiff States, their residents, and the entire healthcare system.”
“The loss of funds and financial uncertainty caused by their actions will lead to higher health insurance costs for consumers and to insurers abandoning the individual health insurance market.”
“The number of uninsured Americans will increase once again, hurting vulnerable individuals and directly burdening the States.”
“The unlawful refusal to make CSR reimbursement payments will also substantially complicate the States’ efforts to administer their healthcare markets and in some instances leave consumers with no health plan to access despite their federal entitlements under the ACA.”
“Indeed, across the nation, there are 1,472 counties with only one insurer. The Administration’s refusal to make CSR reimbursement payments will cause some insurers to pull out of the market, leaving many counties vulnerable and without health insurance coverage.”
Plaintiffs seek “declaratory and injunctive relief to compel the President and the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Treasury to make CSR reimbursement payments in accordance with the ACA and its permanent appropriation.”
Families USA called ending subsidies “the most malicious and harmful attack yet by the Trump Administration on the Affordable Care Act.”
Without subsidies to insurers, they’ll raise premiums substantially. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the move will cost the federal government $194 billion over the next decade, spent for other subsidies 10 million Americans receive to purchase insurance.
The number of uninsured in the country will increase sharply over the next ten years. Insurers will abandon more markets than already.
If allowed to stand, Trump’s action will harm millions of Americans. Will he issue a follow-up executive order, abolishing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid even though he can’t legally?
He serves privileged Americans exclusively – too hell with all the rest his credo!
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”