Trump Administration Pays June Obamacare Subsidies to Insurers

The Trump administration has made critical ObamaCare subsidy payments to insurers for the month of June but won’t provide any certainty about whether they’ll continue in the future.

The payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, reimburse insurers for providing discounts to low-income customers.

Insurers have been threatening to raise premiums — or leave the ObamaCare markets — if they don’t receive certainty about the payments from Congress or the White House.

But the Trump administration continues to say they have not made a decision about future payments.

“The June payment has been made. We are weighing our options and still evaluating the issues,” Caitlin Oakley, press secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement to The Hill Tuesday, calling for the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House GOP’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“Congress could resolve any uncertainty about the payments by passing the AHCA and reforming Obamacare’s failed funding structure.”

Insurers across the country have blamed uncertainty surrounding the payments for proposed double-digit rate increases for 2018.

The federal deadline for insurers to file rates and plans with the federal government is Wednesday.

House Republicans sued the Obama administration over the payments, arguing they were being made illegally.

The court sided with the House, a decision the Obama administration appealed. The case is currently on hold as the Trump administration tries to decide whether it will drop the appeal or not.

GOP leaders have called on Congress, or the administration, to make the payments.

“The payments will help to avoid the real possibility that millions of Americans will literally have zero options for insurance in the individual market in 2018,” Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said last week.

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