Congressmen Messer, Rokita still silent on stoppage of crucial health care subsidies

Congressman Rokita continues to leave issue unaddressed despite district protests

INDIANAPOLIS – Four days after President Trump threw our nation’s health care system into chaos, Congressmen Messer and Rokita still have yet to explain where they stand on the Administration’s dangerous move to stop cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs). The decision will cause Hoosiers’ premiums to rise by an estimated 20 percent.

On Thursday, the White House announced it would halt paying CSRs, payments to insurers that help keep premiums affordable for millions of low-income Americans. The decision has been panned by medical and health care industry groups, while some Republicans and their allies have publicly made clear they disapprove of the move. Premiums for Hoosiers will skyrocket, while the CBO estimates the deficit will increase by nearly $200 billion over 10 years if the administration follows through.

President Trump’s decision appears to be the latest of several attempts to sabotage the nation’s health care system after repeated Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed. Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist, stated over the weekend that President Trump’s move was an intentional step to “blow those [health care markets] up.”

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, has called the CBO’s estimates of the news a “real and immediate concern.” The Republican-controlled congress can easily restore these payments through a legislative fix, but so far, no steps have been publicly taken. Neither of the two Washington Republicans aiming for the Indiana GOP’s Senate nomination have weighed in yet.

Congressman Rokita was pressed on the issue Friday by protestors outside his Lafayette office calling on him and his Republican colleagues to act and restore the CSRs. Even then, he still failed to address the issue, as his spokesman punted with a boilerplate comment stating that Congressman Rokita “knows we need a constructive conversation about health care.”

“Hoosiers deserve clarity from their public officials, and as Congressmen Messer and Rokita hide from the truth, their unwillingness to show Hoosiers where they stand on these crucial halted payments is shameful,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “We don’t need a conversation to figure out what Congress needs to do after President Trump’s move that will raise Hoosiers’ premiums and blow a hole in the deficit. Congressmen Messer and Rokita can help solve this, and they need to act quickly.”

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