ISSUE: By executive order, Trump has rescinded the subsidies to help lower-income enrollees of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pay for their health insurance. This has resulted in uncertainty in the insurance market and an increase in premiums. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Patty Murray (D-Washington) have submitted a bill to continue subsidies for two years to stabilize the insurance market and allow time to find a good solution for health care.
ACTION: Contact Senator Graham and thank him for supporting the Alexander-Murray Health Care Bill. Contact Senator Scott and Representative Sanford to ask them to support this bill and protect the health of our citizens. Click here for their contact information. We recommend calling their offices both here in South Carolina and in Washington, DC.
BACKGROUND: The Alexander-Murray bill has the support of 24 co-sponsors including 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats. Senator Graham has said he would support this bill although his final aim is to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would establish block grants to states to pay for care, dismantle the protections of the ACA, and allow states to set their own rules for healthcare coverage.
There are 18 million Americans insured through individual insurance with the ACA. They are at risk for significantly increased premiums because of the uncertainty in the insurance market about whether or not there will be subsidies. Many of the premiums have already increased up to 30% for 2018 and they are at risk for increasing further since Trump announced the end of subsidies. This is also expected to decrease the number enrolled, which would further erode the ACA.
TALKING POINTS: The Alexander-Murray bill would ensure cost-sharing reductions (CSR) through 2019. It requires that 2018 enrollees receive the benefit of cost sharing. The core protections of affordability, coverage, and comprehensiveness are guaranteed but states are allowed to propose value-based insurance plans while still protecting low-income people, the seriously ill, and those who are medically and economically vulnerable.
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