ACHP Media Monitoring Report – August 2, 2017

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Court ruling could help keep CSRs
A federal appeals court issued a ruling Tuesday that could help preserve subsidies that benefits health insurers and millions of Americans under the ACA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted a motion that gives state attorneys general the power to block a settlement or appeal a ruling that halts the subsidies. The ruling gives new legal standing to attorneys general, which will make it harder for the Administration to cut off payments to insurers.

Congress begins discussion on stabilization package
Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and ranking Democrat Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the Senate HELP Committee will hold hearings next month on a stabilization package that includes CSR funding. Alexander and Murray also urged the administration to approve CSR payments for August while Congress works out a solution.

Congress attempts bipartisan path forward on health care
Lawmakers are exploring bipartisan options for reform in the wake of the GOP’s failed efforts to repeal the ACA. Republicans have acknowledged it’s unlikely the Senate would be able to pass any partisan piece of legislation. In the House, a small group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers have begun discussing moderate health care packages designed to fix the ACA and stabilize the market.

Big insurers seek premium increases due to uncertainty
Some major insurers are seeking premium increases of more than 30 percent for 2018, according to preliminary requests published by HHS. Insurers say they are uncertain the Administration will continue to fund CSR payments and enforce the individual mandate. Insurers must complete rates by a mid-August deadline before signing federal agreements in late September.

Anthem quits most California exchange regions
Anthem Inc. announced pulling out of 16 of 19 pricing regions on the California exchange, causing 153,000 customers to lose coverage in 2018. The company said it will continue to offer exchange plans in three regions that cover just 41 percent of its current enrollment. Anthem says the move is partly due to market uncertainty over whether the Trump Administration will continue to fund CSR subsidies.