What Are Your Rights? The Trump Administration’s Stance on Cost-Sharing Payments for the ACA

Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Martin, Harding and Mazzotti.

Melissa: President Trump announced that his administration will stop cost-sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act, prompting a bipartisan coalition of several state attorneys general to, once again, band together to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration. Now, here to help examine this issue is Managing Partner Paul Harding, from the law firm of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Paul, welcome back.

Paul: Melissa, thank you.

Melissa: Thank you for being here. Okay, so how can President Trump, talking about the ACA, unilaterally just rescind a law like the Affordable Care Act?

Paul: So he really can’t, right. But it seems like he can, but he can’t. So he doesn’t have the ability unilaterally to rescind anything, but what he can do is use his executive powers like he has here. And they’ve determined, through his Health Secretary, that these out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, and these other expenses that the federal government pays his insurers, do not have to be paid. And, in fact, they said, “Legally we can’t make these payments.” And that’s gonna cause a big stir with these insurance companies.

Melissa: Right, so now we’re seeing these lawsuits coming together. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman involved in this, what exactly is the aim of the lawsuit?

Paul: Yeah, he’s at the front of this. What he sees is that he’s trying to get a temporary restraining order, TRO, to say, “Listen, this can’t stop. If this stops and these insurers leave the plan, then we’re gonna have this Obamacare that doesn’t have any real substance to it.” So they filed this in California, a very anti-Trump venue. And I think that was done purposely, by trying to stop this executive order from occurring.

Melissa: All right, so what do you expect, you know, to happen from here, from this lawsuit? And really, what kind of action do we need to see take place, moving forward?

Paul: So what Trump probably really wants… He knows this can’t stop this thing forever. He wants Congress to act. He wants Congress to, kind of, clean up some of these loose ends. He can’t do it in Congress and now he’s trying to put pressure on Congress. But I do think the TRO will be signed. There’ll be a bit of a window and hopefully, during that window, Congress steps up and, sort of, does what Trump thinks they should do, which is make some needed changes.

Melissa: All right. Well, Paul, thank you so much.

Paul: Thank you.

Melissa: Appreciate your time. We’ll, of course, have you on next week. We’ll be talking with you again, many more topics. All right.