Recall that under Obamacare, health coverage plan providers are required to subsidize low-income Americans (who, under Obamacare, are required to buy the plans regardless of need for the plans on offer or ability to pay the vig for them) for their costs in buying those health coverage plans. Recall further that the Obama administration paid those plan providers monies to reimburse them for those government-mandated subsidy payouts. Recall also that Congress never appropriated any funds for the purpose of making those payments to the plan providers. Finally, recall that a DC District court ruled those payments to the health plan providers illegal—because Congress had not appropriated any funds for the purpose. Then the Trump administration ceased those payments to the health plan providers.
Oh, the hoo-rah from the Left. Eighteen Progressive-Democrat-led States sued in Federal court (in San Francisco, California, after judge-shopping to find a suitably malleable court), centering their beef on how stopping the payments would set the Obamacare markets a-roil. Never mind, now, how cynically irrelevant that plaint is to the actual case before the courts, which is whether the payments are legal, not whether they’re convenient.
Federal judge Vince Chhabria, of the Northern District of California, headquarted in San Fran, wound up ruling against the 18 States. He also wrote,
And although you wouldn’t know it from reading the states’ papers in this lawsuit, the truth is that most state regulators have devised responses that give millions of lower-income people better health coverage options than they would otherwise have had
cited an October press release by California’s health care marketplace, which said the premiums of nearly four of five consumers will stay the same or decrease after surcharges tied to the lost subsidies are factored in. The judge said dozens of other states also have accounted for the end of the subsidies.
One last point on the issue of confusion. If the states are so concerned that people will be scared away from the exchanges by the thought of higher premiums, perhaps they should stop yelling about higher premiums. With open enrollment just days away, perhaps the states should focus instead on communicating the message that they have devised a response to the CSR payment termination that will prevent harm to the large majority of people while in fact allowing millions of lower-income people to get a better deal on health insurance in 2018.
Oops. Just another bit of disingenuousity on the part of Progressive-Democrats as they try to keep honest Americans trapped in the Progressive-Democrat welfare cage.
Judge Chhabria’s ruling can be read here.