On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report that insurance premiums will rise 20 percent next year if President Donald Trump scraps the key insurance subsidy called cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Montana Chamber of Commerce want to see the administration and congress continue to fund the CSR payments and extend the delay of the health insurance tax (HIT).

“Given recent developments in Congress, our nation remains at a crossroads when it comes to healthcare,” said Bridger Mahlum, Government Relations Director for the Montana Chamber. “In the meantime, we must do everything we can to ensure stability in the health insurance marketplace by maintaining CRS payments and avoid sudden premium hikes. The impending health insurance tax would also be detrimental to employers and individuals alike because the tax could translate into fewer jobs and lower wages.”

The CBO also found that eliminating payments would increase the deficit by $194 billon over a decade because higher federal government spending on premium subsides. It also added, “about five percent of people live in areas that would have no insurers in the nongroup market in 2018.”

According to a post from the U.S. Chamber’s Executive Director on healthy policy Katie Mahoney, the Chamber has looked at two different reports describing the additional cost to the federal government that inaction will cause. The two different estimates predict that if CSRs are not paid and the health insurance tax remains that an additional $2.3 billion would be paid by the federal government and more than 100 million Americans in 2018 will pay up to an additional $22 billion in higher health insurance premiums.

The Montana Chamber has identified controlling healthcare costs as one of the top objectives in its ten-year strategic plan, Envision 2026. It is asking Congress again to help control healthcare costs and provide more certainty to Montanans. Keeping CSR payments intact should be a top priority, in addition to delaying or stopping the HIT from taking effect in 2018.

For more information about CSRs and HIT, contact Government Relations Director Bridger Mahlum at 442-2405 ext. 102 or at [email protected].

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