Rep. Greg Walden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
House Republicans are looking for ways to restore the Affordable Care Act's risk adjustment transfers, which the Trump administration froze last week.
What they're saying: "We want this fixed, whether we have to legislate or do it by rule. It needs to happen," Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told me.
- The administration froze payments for the ACA's risk adjustment program last week, citing conflicting court rulings about the program.
- Walden said one of the big outstanding questions is whether HHS can issue a retroactive rule applying to previous previous plan years, for which payments are owed. And "if they can’t do a retroactive rule, we might have to legislate," he said.
- Timing remains up in the air, but "we’re working to be ready to do whatever needs to happen," Walden said.
Threat level: House Republicans are aware that this is yet another administrative action that could raise premiums for 2019. And those rates will be finalized just before the midterms.
- Restoring the payments wouldn't cost the federal government anything. It simply facilitates payments among insurance companies.