Insurers are not happy that the Trump administration and House Republicans are punting again on a decision over Obamacare's insurer subsidies.
The Trump administration and GOP are asking a federal appeals court to let them delay a decision about a lawsuit over the legality of Obamacare's cost-sharing reduction payments, called CSRs, which subsidize insurers for reducing copays and deductibles for low-income Obamacare customers, sources told the Washington Examiner on Monday.
The insurance industry responded that the delay in committing to the payments for 2018 is hurting markets.
America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's biggest lobbying group, said the delay hasn't changed its position on calling for swift action to preserve the payments.
"It is the single most destabilizing factor in the individual market, and millions of Americans could soon feel the impact of fewer choices, higher costs and reduced access to care," spokeswoman Cathryn Donaldson told the Washington Examiner.
AHIP joined major doctor, hospital and business groups in a letter to Senate leadership calling for them to take action to preserve the payments.
For now, the CSR money will continue to flow.
In 2014, the House challenged the legality of the CSRs, arguing they needed to be appropriated by Congress. A federal judge agreed with the GOP last year and the Obama administration appealed.
However, the Trump administration has not announced if it will continue the appeal or end the lawsuit.
Insurers have said that without the CSRs they would have to raise prices or leave Obamacare's exchanges on the individual market, which is used by people who don't get insurers through their employers.
The federal government paid out $7 billion in CSRs last year.
Insurers are crunched for time, as proposed rates are due June 21 for the 38 states and the District of Columbia that use healthcare.gov. Other states already are hitting their deadlines.