Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Attorney General Thomas J. Donovan, Jr. took legal action to protect health care access for millions of Americans, including thousands of Vermonters. Attorney General Donovan moved to intervene in a lawsuit filed by House Republicans that undercuts the affordability of health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The motion was led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and joined by Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit, House v. Price, would eliminate the stable funding that the ACA created to protect millions of working families from high healthcare costs. Experts predict that the threat to end this funding could destabilize the healthcare market and increase premiums. The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans are seeking to repeal the ACA and take away affordable healthcare.
“Access to affordable health care is critical to maintaining a safe, healthy and vibrant community for all Vermonters,” Attorney General Donovan said.
The House’s lawsuit, House v. Price, threatens to increase out of pocket health care costs for approximately 13,000 Vermonters and could destabilize the individual health insurance market.
Background on House v. Price:
The cost-sharing subsidies of the ACA help working families access more affordable healthcare coverage by helping individuals with incomes between $11,880 and $29,700. The Kaiser Family Foundation projects premiums will increase by 19% on average across the country to compensate if there is a loss of the subsidy payments, finding that the premium increases would be higher in states that have not expanded Medicaid (premium increases of 21%).
House Republicans sued the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Obama Administration, challenging the legality of making the cost-sharing subsidies. A district court judge ruled in favor of the House, but the ruling was appealed to protect access to healthcare, and the subsidies were permitted to continue pending appeal. After the election, the House requested that the case be held in suspension while the newly-elected President Trump had time to make decisions regarding the case. During this time, the President has voiced support for the House Republicans stating that, the lawsuit could “explode” the Affordable Care Act. This would leave millions of Americans without affordable health care coverage, leaving the states to pick up the pieces.
Vermont AG: May 19, 2017