The Trump administration is preparing to implement a major overhaul of the nation’s health insurance marketplace, setting the stage for an all-out assault on the health care law’s essential components.
A draft rule released by the White House on Thursday lays out a framework for overhauling the nation�s health insurance markets, including the public charge tax credit.
The new rule, which could take effect next year, would allow consumers to shop for insurance through a network of state-run exchanges, which offer subsidized coverage to individuals.
The new rule also includes new requirements for states to establish their own exchanges, a process that has been blocked by Congress and could have a chilling effect on competition and innovation in the markets.
The administration also wants states to use the newly created marketplace as a place to sell private plans, including plans on the federal exchange.
States must set up their own health insurance exchanges by Dec. 1.
In the interim, the federal government will pay for 100 percent of the costs of the states.
While the public charging tax credit was designed to give low-income people access to affordable health insurance, it has proven controversial, with many Republicans claiming it would hurt the poor.
Democrats and the business community have long argued that the credit should be used to help low- and middle-income Americans buy coverage.
The administration, however, has argued that its goal is to encourage competition among health insurers, and to give Americans access to better health care.
“The rule changes the game for everyone by giving the American people access and choice to quality health insurance that works for them,” the White Senate said in a statement on Thursday.
“It ensures that everyone has access to a plan that is affordable and provides the care they need, while protecting our most vulnerable Americans.”
States must apply for a federal waiver to use their own exchange and submit plans to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that oversees the exchanges.
The rule also gives states the option to use private insurers, a step the Trump administration has said would ensure competition and allow consumers more flexibility in shopping for insurance.
The White House said that would include allowing states to allow insurers to offer higher deductibles and co-pays for individuals who do not qualify for the tax credit and allow insurers not to charge more to those with pre-existing conditions.