Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General TJ Donovan Joins Lawsuit To Defend Vermonters’ Health Care

October 16, 2017

CONTACT: Benjamin Battles, Solicitor General, (802) 595-8679

The Trump Administration’s decision to end healthcare subsidies made possible by the Affordable Care Act will increase health care costs for VermontersAttorney General TJ Donovan joined 18 states and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit in the Northern District of California to defend Americans’ right to access affordable healthcare. On Friday, the Trump Administration made the decision to stop making healthcare subsidy payments required by the federal Affordable Care Act. The coalition of Attorneys General argue that the Trump Administration’s action violates the law and will lead to higher costs. It puts health coverage for over 6 million Americans, and over 12,000 Vermonters, at risk.

Attorney General TJ Donovan said: “Access to affordable health care is critical to maintaining a healthy and safe community. This decision will disproportionately impact the most vulnerable among us. I will defend Vermonters’ right to access care.”

The Affordable Care Act’s mandatory cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments help working families access affordable healthcare coverage. CSR payments help individuals with incomes between $11,880 and $29,700 enroll in plans with lower deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance, which reduce their out-of-pocket costs. The Kaiser Family Foundation projects premiums will increase by 19% on average across the country to compensate if there is a loss of the subsidy payments. The Kaiser Family Foundation finds that the premium increases would be higher in states that have not expanded Medicaid (premium increases of 21%).

Joining today’s filing are the Attorneys General of California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, North Carolina, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico, Iowa, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.

1 Larry Levitt, Cynthia Cox and Gary Claxton, “The Effects of Ending the Affordable Care Act’s Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments”, The Kaiser Family Foundation, April 25, 2017 https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/the-effects-of-ending-the-affordable-care-acts-cost-sharing-reduction-payments/

Last modified: March 12, 2018