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Collins says subsidy threats destabilize insurance markets

In remarks on a Sunday morning news show, Sen. Susan Collins said she was “troubled by the uncertainty” created by the Trump administration around a subsidy that allows low-income people to afford health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

In response to a question from Chuck Todd, host of Meet The Press, about whether Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is trying to undermine the ACA, Collins said the attempted rollback of subsidies is destabilizing insurance markets. The ACA’s cost-sharing subsidy, which has been targeted in Republican repeal efforts, helps low-income policyholders afford co-pays and deductibles.

“I hear this described by some as an insurance company bailout,” said Collins. “That’s not what it is. It’s vital assistance to people who make between 100 and 250 percent of the poverty level and allows them to afford their out-of pocket costs.

“And the uncertainty about whether that subsidy is going to continue month to month is clearly contributing to the destabilization of insurance markets. And that’s what Congress needs to end.”

She called on Congress to appropriate the money needed to allow the subsidy to continue.

Collins also appeared on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. Asked if a threat President Trump made to rescind funding for health care insurance for members of Congress would change her vote, Collins had a familiar answer for the White House.

“No,” she said.

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