Republican Congressman Tom Reed is bucking his GOP President, calling on the Trump Administration to continue making what are known as Cost Sharing Reduction payments, to prevent destabilizing the health insurance marketplace.
CSRs are payments to insurance companies that subsidize the premiums of low-income customers who cannot afford to buy health plans on the individual market. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to stop the payments, even as experts warn that could cause premiums to spike.
"I do not want to destabilize the individual market and so the payments should continue, in my opinion, for the short term," Reed said in a conference call with reporters. "But [in the] long term, we’re going to have to address this issue."
However, Reed said continuing the payments alone will not fix problems in the individual insurance market. Toward that end, Reed and a bipartisan group of Congressional representatives released a set of ideas to improve the Affordable Care Act. One idea is for Congress to approve and fund the CSRs, which have also been the subject of litigation between Congress and the executive branch.
Another idea of the self-named Problem Solvers Caucus is raising the number of employees a business can have before it must provide health insurance, from 50 to 500. Yet another idea is repealing the medical device tax that is written into the ACA.
In May, Reed and other upstate Republicans voted for the House's version of a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Senate voted "no" on its own plan last week.