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Frosh Files ACA Suit

May 18th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today took legal action to challenge the Trump Administration and protect health care access for millions of Americans. Attorney General Frosh moved to intervene in a lawsuit filed by House Republicans that undercuts the affordability of health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The motion was led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and joined by Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit, House v. Price, would eliminate the stable funding that the law created to protect millions of working families from high healthcare costs. Experts predict that the threat to end this funding could destabilize the healthcare market and increase premiums by as much as 20%. The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have made it clear that their number one priority is to repeal the ACA and take away affordable healthcare.

“More than 400,000 Marylanders depend upon the Affordable Care Act for health coverage, and over 80,000 receive cost-sharing subsidies,” said Attorney General Frosh. “If the federal government does not honor its obligation to fund cost-sharing subsidies, it will make health insurance unaffordable for many and put at risk the health of our citizens.” 

In Maryland, as of September 2016, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ensured access to health insurance for 421,084 individuals. 142,872 individuals were covered under private insurance and 278,212 were covered under Medicaid expansion. Over 83,000 individuals in Maryland are projected to receive over $97 million in cost-sharing subsidies in calendar year 2017. If the federal government does not reimburse health plans for cost-sharing subsidies, health plans will increase rates in order to compensate for their loss. Carriers are currently seeking alarmingly high rate increases for 2018 and the requested increases do not even account for the potential loss of the cost-sharing subsidies. 

In President Trump’s own words, the House v. Price lawsuit could “explode” the ACA and leave millions of Americans without affordable healthcare coverage, leaving states to pick up the pieces. The intervention by the aforementioned states seeks to protect health care coverage secured for Americans under the ACA.

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