CBO: Ending Obamacare Payments Would Cause Premiums to Rise

Health insurance premiums for many customers on the Obamacare individual insurance markets would be 20 percent higher in 2018 if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through on a threat to stop billions of dollars of payments to health insurers, a nonpartisan congressional office said on Tuesday.

The Congressional Budget Office also found that terminating the payments would mean that 5 percent of Americans would live in areas that do not have an insurer in the individual market in 2018. However, the agency estimated that more insurers would participate by 2020 because they will have observed how the markets work without the payments and most people would be able to purchase insurance.

The CBO’s assessment echoes concerns raised by insurers over the past several months, who have said that terminating the payments would cause premiums to rise.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to withhold the payments, called cost-sharing reductions, which amount to

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