Trump Ends Illegal CSR Payments In Victory For Constitution

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Posted by Tom Hebert on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017, 3:12 PM PERMALINK

President Trump has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to end the illegal and unconstitutional “Cost-Sharing Reduction” (CSR) payments to insurance companies under Obamacare. By restoring the power of the purse to Congress (where it belongs), Trump’s decision upholds the rule of law and our constitutional system of checks and balances.

Congress never appropriated the CSR payments, as we’ve written. A 2016 report from the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee revealed that the Obama Administration initially submitted a CSR appropriations request for Fiscal Year 2014, but later withdrew it and began making payments illegally. The Obama Administration then begun illegally shifting funds from a separate appropriation to make the payments. Even Obama’s IRS, the same scandal-tarnished crew that targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, expressed concern that the CSR payments were illegal.

In 2016, a federal court ruled that the CSR payments were illegal. The payments are clearly an unlawful, unconstitutional bailout for insurance companies, and were obviously made without a Congressional appropriation to keep Obamacare on life support.

The CSR payments were made to insurance companies to reduce the cost of health insurance for families struggling with Obamacare’s enormously high premiums. These illegal CSR payments clearly failed at keeping premiums low, since Obamacare has raised premiums by approximately 60 percent since it became law.

Obamacare has saddled lower-income Americans with more than just high premiums. Obamacare also contains $1 trillion in new or higher taxes. If Congress fails to act, the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) will hit Americans on the first of next year. The health insurance tax is a tax on health insurance premiums. According to the American Action Forum, the HIT alone will cause premiums to rise over $5,000 over the next decade, and families making less than $50,000 will shoulder half the tax burden. 

Additionally, the CBO estimates that the individual mandate tax has cost American taxpayers over $4 billion a year. The Obamacare Chronic Care Tax, an egregious income tax hike on middle class families making an average of $53,000 a year, is projected to cost taxpayers $35 billion over 10 years.

Struggling families everywhere are dealing with skyrocketing premiums and less choice in health care plans. Congress should act swiftly to end Obamacare, and replace it with a patient-driven, market-based system that will expand choice and encourage innovation. By ending the illegal CSR payments, Trump has affirmed his commitment to dismantling Obamacare and restoring the rule of law.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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