US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, speaks during a press conference following the Republican Conference meeting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 26, 2017: (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told reporters the spending bill to keep the federal government running will not include funding for Obamacare subsidies.
“CSR’s, we’re not doing that,” Ryan told reporters after meeting with House Republicans Wednesday morning. “That is not in the appropriation bill. That’s something separate that the administration does.”
Politico’s Capitol Bureau Chief, John Bresnahan reported that the White House told lawmakers that they will continue CSR payments under Obamacare, contradicting Ryan’s morning announcement.
NEWS – White House will continue cost-sharing reduction payments under Obamacare, they’ve told lawmakers on Hill
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) April 26, 2017
Obamacare provides cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs) designed to lower the out-of-pocket cost for plans bought on the Health Insurance Marketplace. The CSR an individual is entitled to is calculated by family size and household income. In general, the lower the household income, the higher the subsidy.
Democrats questioned Ryan’s announcement, asserting that an arrangement was being negotiated with the White House, according to the Washington Examiner.
Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that the administration has not yet decided whether to make upcoming payments to fund CSRs Tuesday. Mulvaney also proposed a deal with Democrats to provide money for CSRs in exchange for funding the border wall.
Democrats agreed to support half of President Donald Trump’s request for $30 billion in additional military spending if Republicans agreed to use the spending bill to fund the, according to The Hill.
House Republicans have argued the constitutionality of CSRs. Under the leadership of former Speaker of the House John Boehner in 2014, Republicans sued the Obama administration, claiming it was illegally reimbursing marketplace insurers. (RELATED: The Potentially Unconstitutional Obamacare Feature Everyone Is Ignoring)
House leadership argued that because the CSR funding required an annual appropriation and because Congress had never explicitly appropriated the funds for those payments, the administration’s actions were unconstitutional. A judge concluded the House’s claim had legal standing and allowed the case move forward in May of 2016.
Obamacare’s CSRs are not to be confused with the premium tax credit provision. The CSR subsidy lowers the amount an individual is expected to pay for out-of-pocket costs, while the premium tax credit may lower an individuals monthly healthcare premium.
“We’re getting really close. The administration, OMB, along with our appropriators, are down to the last final things,” Ryan said Wednesday. “I think we’re making really good progress,” he surmised.
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