The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) stands in strong opposition to the Trump administration’s announcement to no longer fund cost-sharing reduction payments for insurers. This move is a spiteful display of leadership. Not paying the subsidies will send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil and could take away access to high-quality, affordable health insurance coverage for Illinois families and people.
After failing numerous times to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the legislative process, the Trump administration has reverted to blatant acts of sabotage to dismantle the ACA. The move comes hours after Trump signed an executive order on Thursday aimed at undermining consumer protections in the law.
The ACA has been transformative for people living with HIV in Illinois. At least 12,000 people living with HIV in Illinois newly gained health care coverage through the ACA. That’s 32% of people with HIV in Illinois, or 1 in 3 of the 37,788 people who are reported as living with HIV in Illinois. In addition, nearly 3,000 people with HIV gained coverage through the health insurance marketplace, and had premiums and out-of-pocket costs paid by the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). It is likely that most — if not all — were previously uninsured.
Tens of thousands of Illinoisans, including working people and families, rely on the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies to help cover their life-saving treatment, including those living with HIV. These subsidies help health insurance companies pay for out-of-pocket costs that lower-income people and families simply cannot afford. Without these subsidies, insurance companies have one fewer reason to do their job of providing affordable access to health care.
AFC believes this policy shift by the Trump administration is mean-spirited and harmful to the financial and health stability of the country. We demand the Trump administration withdraw this plan; we also call on the Illinois Congressional Delegation, Governor Bruce Rauner, and other elected officials to speak out against this spiteful and mean-spirited act. Together, we can continue to protect the Affordable Care Act and help Americans thrive.