Sununu asks Trump to keep ACA running

Says stability in current system needed

News staff photo by Damien Fisher Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday following his meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s key advisers.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is asking President Donald Trump to keep the Affordable Care Act operating, and funded, until a replacement system is found.

In a letter sent to Trump this week, Sununu reaffirms his support of repealing the Affordable Care Act, saying that the law has left the healthcare system in crisis. Trump has made repealing the ACA, President Barack Obama’s signature legislation, a priority.

“Our current healthcare system is no longer affordable for patients and taxpayers,” Sununu wrote.

According to Sununu letter, however, about 42,000 Granite Staters were enrolled in the Medicaid expansion that is part of the ACA, and another 19,000 receive subsidies to pay for health insurance through the ACA marketplace. He asked Trump to keep in place the cost-sharing reductions, or CSR’s, that provide the subsidies for the people enrolled in health plans on the ACA marketplace, through the entire 2018 fiscal year.

“(S)tate leaders must make the current system work as best as possible for their citizens,” Sununu wrote. “This includes working to bring as much stability and affordability as possible to the individual market.”

Sununu letter states that New Hampshire’s health care system is in danger of the CSR’s are not funded, potentially losing several insurance carriers fro the market.

The Republican-backed plan voted through Congress would phase out the expanded Medicaid system by 202, and it would eliminate the CSR’s. The Congressional Budget Office scored an initial version of the bill, finding it would see more than 20 million Americans lose their health insurance. The version passed by Congress has yet to be scored.

Sununu has said he has reservations with the Republican health care law, but has declined to outline his exact reservations. The bill has moved to the U.S. Senate where is it expected to undergo major revisions.

Ray Buckley, Chairman of New Hampshire’s Democrat Party, called Sununu’s letter an attempt at having it both ways when it comes to the healthcare bill.

“His letter recognizes clear flaws in AHCA, yet he has continued to broadcast his support for the bill, even asking the bill to go further in giving states the choice to opt out of providing substance abuse treatment coverage,” Buckley said. “Sununu has pushed the Trump administration to block grand Medicaid, and that’s exactly what the Trumpcare bill he supports does.”