Rep. O’Halleran to President: Tell Arizonans You Won’t Increase Their Premiums
SEDONA, AZ - Today, Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) renewed his call for President Trump to keep Arizona premiums from increasing by continuing funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments.
“When President Trump is in Phoenix this evening, he should tell Arizonans that he will take action to keep their premiums from going up,” said O’Halleran. “It is now clear that the President has the power to hold premiums flat by funding cost-sharing reduction payments or to increase premiums by 7 percent if he does not. I hope he will use common sense and do what is right for hardworking Arizona families.”
CSR payments lower the amount low-income Arizonans have to pay for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance on a Marketplace health insurance plan. In late July, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona announced that if CSR payments continued, rates for policies would remain flat for 2018, while premiums would rise by 7 percent if the payments are eliminated. Last week, the Trump Administration announced that it would make the CRS payment for the month of August, but did not make a commitment beyond that.
O’Halleran sent a letter on August 8th to President Trump asking him to commit to making the CSR payment.
“Not only would ceasing CSR payments wreak havoc on markets during a time when plans are working with states to finalize rates for 2018, but costs to taxpayers would skyrocket,” O’Halleran wrote in the letter. “Arizona cannot afford to risk the health and economic security of thousands for the sake of partisan gamesmanship. True harm to hardworking Arizonans would result from such games as withholding CSR payments. As I travel across my vast and diverse district, I hear from cancer patients, parents of children with chronic conditions, and caretakers with loved ones battling disease. These brave Arizonans are already navigating a complex system and worried about out of pocket costs. The last thing they should be worried about is politicians in Washington using their coverage as a bargaining chip.”