In a deliberate move to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Trump recently decided to stop payment of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies to insurers selling Healthcare.gov marketplace plans. These payments help insurers provide lower-cost health insurance plans on the exchanges. In anticipation of the lost CSR revenue, insurers have already increased their rates dramatically. For example, Pennsylvania’s UPMC Health Plan was planning to increase premiums by 8% in 2018 until Trump threatened to discontinue CSRs; now, the plan is increasing premiums by an average of 41% statewide. Some insurers may even exit the exchanges entirely, further jeopardizing health insurance access for the 18 million Americans who buy their insurance plans on the ACA individual market.
However, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have announced a bipartisan bill to attempt to stabilize the ACA’s individual markets by reinstating CSRs for insurers for two more years. The bill would also create a low-cost catastrophic coverage exchange plan and reinstate $106 million in funding for ACA enrollment outreach, funding which the Trump administration has slashed in yet another attempt to undermine the ACA. In exchange, the bill would give states more flexibility to let insurers offer new types of insurance plans that are comparably affordable to existing ACA plans. Most importantly, the bill would preserve ACA standards for what exchange plans must cover preventing the erosion of protection for those with pre-existing conditions.
As Sen. Alexander himself stated of the bill, “This agreement avoids chaos. I don’t know a Republican or Democrat who benefits from chaos.” Congress must act quickly to pass this bipartisan effort to undo Trump’s blatant sabotage of the ACA’s individual market and prevent the loss of affordable healthcare for millions of Americans.
CALL: BLUNT: (417) 877-7814 | MCCASKILL: (417) 868-8745 | LONG: (417) 889-1800 and GOVERNOR GREITENS 573-751-3222
Script: 5 calls
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Springfield.
[IF CONGRESS] I’m calling to urge r ________________o support the Alexander-Murray bill to reinstate cost-sharing reduction payments and funding for ACA enrollment outreach. CSR payments help keep individual market premiums down, and failing to reinstate them will leave thousands unable to afford healthcare coverage.
[IF GOVERNOR] I’m calling to urge the governor to support the Alexander-Murray bill to ensure access to affordable insurance in [YOUR STATE]. We must protect our most vulnerable citizens, and the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill is the first step necessary to stabilize the individual healthcare market.
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