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  • Analysts See Trump Threats to Insurers Boosting Premiums The Associated Press by Alan Fram — Average premiums for individually purchased health insurance will grow around 15 percent next year, largely because of marketplace nervousness over whether President Donald Trump will block federal subsidies to insurers, Congress's nonpartisan fiscal analyst projected Thursday. The Congressional Budget Office estimate comes as Trump has repeatedly threatened to halt the payments in his drive to dismember President Barack Obama's health care law. The agency said 2018 premiums will grow "largely because of short-term market uncertainty — in particular, insurers' uncertainty about whether federal funding for certain subsidies that are currently available will continue to be provided." It also attributed the projected increase to growing numbers of people living in regions where only one insurer sells policies, therefore facing less competition.

  • HHS Slashes Funding to Groups Helping ACA Consumers Enroll by Up to 92 Percent The Washington Post by Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein — Health and Human Services (HHS) officials have informed grass-roots groups that assist with enrollment under the Affordable Care Act that their funding will be reduced by as much as 92 percent, a move that could upend outreach efforts across the country. The groups, which fund organizations known as "navigators," had been braced for the cuts since the Trump administration announced two weeks ago that it would shrink overall program funding by 41 percent and slash the department's ACA advertising budget from $100 million to $10 million. At the time of the announcement, HHS officials said the outreach wasted taxpayers' money. "This is nothing short of sabotage," Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee said in a statement Thursday that the cuts reflected the president's broader effort to undermine the ACA. 

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