GOP lawmaker seeks to block federal subsidies for insurance exchange
Posted On August 6, 2021
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are trying to block funding for subsidies that are intended to help people buy insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.
The lawmakers said Wednesday they will ask the Federal Communications Commission to overturn a ruling from the agency that will make it easier for people to buy insurance through the federal health insurance marketplace.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Rep. David McKinley (R-Wash.) said the commission’s decision to exempt people who don’t have coverage through the exchanges from subsidies under the health care law was a “bad decision that will undermine our ability to expand access to affordable, quality health care coverage for millions of Americans.”
“We will continue to fight to protect the health and well-being of our constituents,” McKinley wrote.
The FCC ruled that subsidies under Obamacare are not allowed for “individuals who lack health insurance coverage” because it would be a “substantial burden” to people who would lose their subsidy under the new rules.
The rule exempts people who have health insurance, but they don’t get tax credits.
McKinley said the FCC decision “gives states the flexibility to create more affordable, high-quality health care options for their residents.”
“It’s a bad decision that the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress are making that will have a significant impact on the health of millions of people,” McKinleys’ office said in a statement.
The House Energy & Commerce Committee has also launched a lawsuit to block the subsidies.
The GOP lawmakers are asking the FCC to issue a ruling by the end of the month, which could result in the subsidies being suspended.
The Trump administration on Tuesday announced it would not extend federal funding for Obamacare’s individual market next year.
The move was designed to encourage more people to sign up for the Obamacare exchange, and it was a victory for Republican lawmakers who had threatened to vote against the measure in Congress.
The Obama administration and Republicans have been pushing for the subsidies to end.
The Trump administration had threatened the subsidies could be canceled if the GOP passed a replacement plan that did not include tax credits and coverage expansions.