Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) issued the following statement in response to the President’s announcement to stop cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments for the individual health insurance exchange. It’s estimated that ending CSR payments will hike exchange-plan premiums an average of 20 percent.
“This President has based his whole career on showmanship and publicity stunts, but what he just pulled is more than a stunt: it’s the worst kind of spite,” said Rep. Schrader. “The only consequence of ending these payments is a bottomed out individual marketplace, making insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans. There is absolutely no benefit to anyone, no practical or necessary reason for ending these payments, which are already fully paid for, other than to deliberately and actively take away health care.
“I went to a meeting at the White House last month to seek support from the President for my bipartisan plan to stabilize the individual market. He has paid lip service to bipartisanship, but so far, we haven’t seen any results out of this White House. Our plan was exactly what he called for: solutions that would improve our health care system supported by Democrats and Republicans. But his actions today, which do nothing but purposely strip people of health care, speak so much louder than hollow words. It is time for Congress to reassert itself and legislate a bipartisan solution for millions of Americans.”
Over the summer, Congressman Schrader led the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in rolling out a plan to stabilize the individual marketplace and improve the Affordable Care Act. His plan, which came after months of discussions with insurers, providers, experts and constituents, calls for bringing CSR payments under Congressional purview and establishing mandatory funding for the payments.