Cities and Citizens Stuck with Higher Health Care Costs Maintain that the Trump Administration is Intentionally Violating its Constitutional Duty to “Faithfully Execute” the Affordable Care Act
Lawsuit Brings Danger of Kavanaugh on the Court into Sharper Focus
Washington, D.C. – Today, several cities stuck with higher health care costs and individuals saddled with astronomical premiums due to President Trump’s health care sabotage filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for violating its constitutional duty to “take care” that the Affordable Care Act be “faithfully executed.” The plaintiffs argue that the Trump Administration is actively and intentionally destabilizing the exchanges, decreasing enrollment and in turn driving up premiums and the uninsured rate, which leaves municipalities and families holding the bill.
“This lawsuit makes clear what we’ve known all along, that President Trump is violating his constitutional duties by intentionally sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. From day one President Trump has said he wants the Affordable Care Act to fail and each day since he has gloated about his efforts to destroy the law. His illegal actions are increasing the cost of health care and taking away coverage from millions, all while insurance companies’ profits skyrocket. Today’s lawsuit also brings into sharper view exactly why a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh is a vote to overturn our health care: Brett Kavanaugh has criticized previous Supreme Court decisions protecting the Affordable Care Act and has said he believes the president can disobey the law. President Trump must implement the law in good faith and be held accountable for his actions.”
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S UNPRECEDENTED SABOTAGE CAMPAIGN
- On his first day in office, President Trump signs an Executive Order directing the administration to identify every way it can unravel the Affordable Care Act.
- Also on January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services begins to remove information on how to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.
- The Trump Administration pulls funding for outreach and advertising for the final days of 2017 enrollment. This move is estimated to have reduced enrollment by nearly 500,000.
- The Trump Administration proposes a rule to weaken Marketplace coverage and raise premiums for millions of middle-class families.
- The Trump Administration sends a letter to governors encouraging them to submit proposals which include provisions such as work requirements that make it harder for Medicaid beneficiaries to get affordable care and increase the number of people who are uninsured.
- The Trump Administration cuts the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.
- In an effort to convince Democrats to negotiate a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump threatens to cut off cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) that help low-income marketplace customers pay for out-of-pocket costs.
- House Republicans vote for and pass a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It would have imposed an age tax and allowed insurers to charge people over 50 five times more for coverage and ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of seniors, children and people with disabilities in jeopardy.
- Senate Republicans embark on a monthslong failed attempt to pass BCRA, Skinny Repeal and Graham-Cassidy, all repeal bills that would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums by double digits for millions more. They would have ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of children, seniors and people with disabilities at risk.
- The Trump Administration uses funding intended to support health insurance enrollment to launch a multimedia propaganda campaign against the Affordable Care Act.
- President Trump, again, threatens to end cost-sharing reduction payments.
- The Administration cuts the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered.
- The Administration orders the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in Open Enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell says, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”
- The Trump Administration takes direct aim at birth control by rolling back a rule that guaranteed women access to contraception. (A court has since questioned the legality of the action.)
- President Trump signs an Executive Order to roll back key consumer protections that will result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and again expose millions of Americans to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
- The Trump Administration dramatically cuts in-person assistance to help people sign up for 2018 health coverage.
- After threatening for months to stop funding cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) that help lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, the Trump Administration stops the payments altogether. The CBO finds that failing to make these payments will increase premiums by 20% and add nearly $200 billion to the debt.
- Republicans refuse to move forward on the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill to address the CSR crisis even though it had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
- The Trump Administration proposes a rule to expand association health plans, which would gut consumer protections, raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions and further destabilize the insurance markets.
- Congressional Republicans pass their tax scam, which doubles as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.
- The Trump Administration announces that it will support states that impose onerous work requirements on Americans covered by Medicaid, and approves Kentucky’s worst-in-the-nation waiver the next day.
- The Trump Administration announces a move to allow providers to discriminate by allowing them to deny patient care for almost any reason.
- The Trump Administration makes plans to announce even more exemptions from the requirement people have health coverage before this provision is repealed altogether.
- The Trump Administration announces that it will expand access to short-term health plans that do not have to comply with key consumer protection provisions required by the Affordable Care Act.
- Urban Institute calculates that repeal of the individual mandate and expansion of short term plans will increase individual market premiums by an average 18.2 percent in 2019.
- Trump Administration releases budget that calls for the Affordable Care Act to be replaced by Graham-Cassidy, in a move that experts predict would reduce health coverage for 32 million Americans.
- Republicans sabotage efforts to pass a bipartisan bill that would have stabilized Affordable Care Act marketplaces by insisting the bill restrict access to abortion.
- House Republicans vote on a balanced budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone.
- Trump Administration limits access to assistance for consumers who want to enroll in marketplace coverage. This change removes the requirements that every area has at least two “navigator” groups to provide consumer assistance and that one be local. Now, just one group could cover entire states or groups of states.
- President Trump boasts about health care sabotage: “We will have gotten rid of a majority of Obamacare.”
- Trump Administration enlists help of former drug lobbyist in writing its drug plan.
- Congressional Republicans attempt to use annual farm bill to authorize $65 million in taxpayer funding to set up association health plans, which can exclude prescription drug coverage, mental health care, and maternity care.
- Department of Justice takes to the courts to argue that insurance companies should be able to discriminate against as many as 130 million Americans with a pre-existing condition.
- Republican coalition, the Health Policy Consensus Group, released their latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, let insurance companies charge older people an age tax, and deny coverage for basic services like maternity care.
- Trump Administration finalizes proposal to expand access to association health plans that skirt key consumer protections
- CMS halts risk adjustment payments, that enable insurance companies to cover everyone, regardless of whether they are healthy or sick.
- Trump Administration slashes funding for non-profit health navigator groups, that help people shop for coverage, from $36 million to $10 million. CMS encourages groups to use the remaining funds to push people to sign up for junk plans that skirt important consumer protections.
- President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has previously forced a young woman to continue a pregnancy against her will and has criticized Justice Roberts for upholding the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality.
- Trump administration finalizes rule for bare-bones short-term plans that are exempt from key consumer protections, such as the requirement that insurance covers prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization.