The AAMC Oct. 21 submitted an amicus brief, along with the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and Catholic Health Association, in the US Court of Appeals for DC in the case in which the legal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics has sued to prevent the federal government from stopping cost-sharing reduction (CSRs) payments under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The federal government pays the CSRs directly to insurers participating in the individual insurance market “exchanges” established by the ACA for the purpose of reducing the cost of coverage that low-income consumers otherwise would have to pay.
The brief argues that patients’ physical and financial health would suffer if they were no longer able to afford to purchase insurance in the exchanges, because the loss of the CSR payments would force participating insurers to raise their premiums that many people newly insured under the ACA could not afford. In fact, in anticipation of the possibility of the loss of CSR payments, which the president has threatened for many months, a number of insurers already have made significant increases in their premiums for coverage bought on the exchanges.
On Oct. 25, the judge rejected the plaintiff’s attempt to temporarily block the White house from ending the CSRs. That decision is likely to be appealed.