After months of uncertainty, the Trump administration announced it would end funding for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, which were designed to make copayments and deductibles more affordable for low-income people in the ACA marketplace.

Following the news, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the administration’s decision would raise premiums 20 percent by 2018 and increase the number of uninsured by 1 million.

Before the administration’s announcement, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) were working on a bipartisan deal to stabilize the ACA marketplace. The legislation was expected to include up to two years of funding for CSR subsidies and give states more flexibility on ACA requirements. The future of those negotiations now is unclear.

Meanwhile, 19 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the administration, arguing that withholding the payments violates a mandate under current law.

America’s Essential Hospitals released a statement outlining the association’s concerns about ending CSR subsidies.

Committee Activity

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will hold an Oct. 17 hearing on prescription drug costs. The committee also has planned an Oct. 19 hearing on improving health outcomes.