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Victory for Health Freedom | Defeat for Obamacare

HHS Announces Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies Will Cease ‘Immediately’; Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Applauds Move That Will Begin to Unravel the ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act for Good

ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Trump administration announced late last night that cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, currently propping up the Affordable Care Act, will be “discontinued immediately based on a legal opinion from the Attorney General.”

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) has been calling for the end of the unconstitutional CSR subsidies for many months and applauds the decision as a step in the right direction toward restoring health freedom for all Americans.

“We’re pleased that President Trump and his administration are taking action to follow the rule of law, as written in the U.S. Constitution,” said CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase. “Not one dime has been appropriated by Congress for the cost-sharing reduction subsidies. The taxpayer already hit with high premiums is facing higher taxes as a result of the billions in CSR subsidies that should never have been paid to the health plans.

“With inaction by Congress, President Trump is wisely using his executive authority to unravel the Affordable Care Act,” she continued. “We support the end of unconstitutional bailouts for health plans. If health plans choose to exit from the Obamacare exchanges as a result, state legislatures should use this opportunity to reassert their 10th Amendment states’ rights authority and restore access to the affordable catastrophic indemnity health insurance and high-risk pools that the Affordable Care Act prohibited.”

Late Thursday, U.S. Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma released the following statement:

“It has been clear for many years that Obamacare is bad policy. It is also bad law. The Obama Administration unfortunately went ahead and made CSR payments to insurance companies after requesting—but never ultimately receiving—an appropriation from Congress as required by law. In 2014, the House of Representatives was forced to sue the previous Administration to stop this unconstitutional executive action. In 2016, a federal court ruled that the Administration had circumvented the appropriations process, and was unlawfully using unappropriated money to fund reimbursements due to insurers. After a thorough legal review by HHS, Treasury, OMB, and an opinion from the Attorney General, we believe that the last Administration overstepped the legal boundaries drawn by our Constitution. Congress has not appropriated money for CSRs, and we will discontinue these payments immediately.”

Just yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that, according to the White House, seeks to “improve access, increase choices and lower costs for health care.”

Brase said, however, that the EO lacked the strong language necessary to make real changes in today’s health care landscape, with six instances of “potentially” and three instances of “consider” in the order, rather actual directives.

For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more about CCHF’s initiative The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.