Congressman Cleaver Opposes President Trump’s Cuts to Health Subsidies

Oct 13, 2017
Press Release
Eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments will cause premiums to rise and will destabilize the health insurance markets

(Kansas City, MO) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II calls the latest cuts on health care subsidies a mistake that will affect millions of low to moderate-income Americans.

Recent media reports state that the White House administration has decided it will not continue to pay the monthly cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies included in the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) worth an estimated $7 billion in 2017.

“This was a well-planned but contemptable move, days before open enrollment is set to begin, to further incapacitate what some opponents call “Obamacare”,” said Congressman Cleaver.

The ACA requires that the federal government reimburse insurance companies for providing eligible low- and moderate-income people lower deductibles and out of pocket costs for health care.

“What President Trump fails to realize is that the decision was not his to make alone. He should work with Congress to find a bipartisan solution. These payments actually help individuals and families who earn less than 250% of the poverty level, that’s equivalent to a family of four earning about $60,000 a year. That’s a significant portion of working families in my district,” said Congressman Cleaver.

There are 25,000 people enrolled in the ACA marketplace here in the Fifth District of Missouri; 12,500 of those enrollees are eligible for cost-sharing reductions. On average, cost-sharing reductions reduce people’s out-of-pocket costs by roughly $1,000 per person. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has already determined that not paying these subsidies will increase premiums, especially in those states that have not expanded Medicaid, including Missouri. CBO also estimates that insurers will withdraw from the markets and the number of uninsured will rise by 1 million people next year.

“If insurance companies know that they won’t be compensated for providing cost-sharing reductions, then they will likely leave the marketplace. This is another attempt to sabotage the ACA at the expense of the health care of the working poor and middle-income Americans who make up a large percentage of those who voted for Trump," said Congressman Cleaver.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or