ICYMI: POLITICO Asks Why Biden Admin Hasn’t Acted on Discriminatory Trump Health Regs
Thursday, September 28, 2023
The dangerous truth about ICHRAs is driving increasing concerns, as POLITICO demonstrated in their coverage today. The article outlines how the Biden Administration is sitting on discriminatory Trump-era health regulations that it previously vowed to review and potentially reverse.
POLITICO writer Kelly Hooper writes that “the lack of action on ICHRA is puzzling left-leaning health care advocates who say the Trump rule allows employers to dump sicker, more expensive employees onto the Affordable Care Act exchanges, raising premiums for everyone else.”
In the article, Hooper highlights that health care advocates are concerned about President Biden’s lack of action on ICHRAs, pointing out that the biased policies could soon expand and become entrenched in the marketplace with potentially permanent implications.
Keep US Covered (KUC) and our campaign partners at the American Nurses Association had the opportunity to speak with Politico about the issue.
If Biden doesn’t reverse the rule soon, they worry the expansion of individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements, or ICHRAs, could become entrenched and impossible to scrap.
“I honestly don't know why they haven't done anything. This is easy: Just get rid of them and get them off the table,” said Sonja Nesbit, a senior HHS official during the Obama administration who is now the senior policy adviser for Keep US Covered, a campaign pushing Biden to reverse the Trump-era rule.
The Biden administration has curtailed or attempted to reverse several other Trump health policies, including short-term health plans and regulations that cut funding for Obamacare marketplace operations.
Tim Nanof, the vice president for policy and government affairs at the American Nurses Association, which has pushed the Biden administration to pare back ICHRAs, said the White House's lack of action so far is likely “a matter of prioritization and timing.”
“I don't believe that they changed their position and suddenly believe that there's a strong value in those plans,” he said. “So I anticipate them taking regulatory action to roll it back.”
The Biden administration has not been completely silent on ICHRAs. When the House in June passed the Custom Health Option and Individual Care Expense Arrangement (CHOICE) Act — which would codify Trump’s ICHRA rule — the White House released a statement of administration policy saying it strongly opposed the bill, calling it “yet another attack on the Affordable Care Act.” That legislation is currently going nowhere in the Senate but some fear that it could end up in a year-end package as an inducement to bring Republicans on board.
“We've said this to the White House: ‘God help us if this ends up in there as a carrot for the right without a full appreciation of how problematic the bill is for American workers,’” Nesbit said.
The full article can be accessed here.