Kevin Brady, a powerful House Republican, said on Thursday that the government should pay Obamacare subsidies for now, because the American people should not suffer for Obamacare’s mistakes.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and one of the most powerful House Republicans, called on Thursday for the temporary continuation of Obamacare subsidies to health insurers.
Though the issue has been controversial, Brady framed it as a rescue of Obamacare’s “design flaws,” on behalf of the American people.
The New York Times reported on Brady’s call:
“We should act within our constitutional authority now to temporarily and legally fund cost-sharing reduction payments as we move away from Obamacare,” Mr. Brady said. “Insurers have made clear the lack of certainty is causing 2018 proposed premiums to rise significantly.”
…“Obamacare’s design flaws were not the fault of the American people,” Mr. Brady said. “The people now trapped in Obamacare did what the government mandated them to do — they complied with the law. They should not be left out to dry.”
These so-called cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments were part of the deal Democrats made with insurers when they passed Obamacare in 2010: in essence, Obamacare mandates made it more expensive for insurers to cover patients, but the CSR payments were a way to reduce insurers’ costs. Insurers have said premiums will go up without these payments.
Brady’s call may help stabilize the market. Democrats, meanwhile, have spent much of their time defending Obamacare amid premium hikes, refusing to help the GOP on Obamacare reforms, and pushing for single-payer health care.
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