The Department of Health and Human Services told the New York Times it intended to continue making “cost-sharing reduction” payments, which compensate insurance companies that cover low-income customers in the exchanges established by Obamacare. Eliminating the payments would make premiums spike by about one-fifth, or cause insurers to get out altogether. Already, the uncertainty is prompting some insurers to drop out for 2018. Some 7 million people, or 58%, of those who signed up for Obamacare coverage for 2017 qualify for these cost-sharing subsidies.
But President Donald Trump is threatening not to reimburse health insurers for covering low income people as a way of forcing the passage of Trumpcare. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said health care remained a top priority for him, but that he was still undecided about whether his administration would fund what are known as cost-sharing reduction payments, which reduce deductibles and co-payments for lower-income people.