Trump Administration Denies Massachusetts Health Care Funding Request

Gov. Baker's proposal sought to stabilize skyrocketing insurance premiums.

Photo via Governor’s Office/Alastair Pike

Massachusetts will not receive additional federal funds to stabilize state insurance rates next year, officials announced Tuesday.

Back in September, Gov. Charlie Baker’s office set plans in motion to cushion the blow of potential premium hikes that appeared to be on the horizon. At the time, whispers swirled that the federal government would ax certain allowances providing less expensive coverage for Americans in bottom income brackets. On October 12, those whispers became a roar, and the Trump administration announced an end to the subsidies.

All the while, the Baker administration had sent a proposal for extra dollars to continue to subsidize coverage for lower-income recipients. That money, the Boston Globe reports, will not be coming to Massachusetts. Officials in Washington told state leaders that the request simply came too late, and was not “submitted sufficiently in advance of the requested effective date,” according to the Globe.

Among others, the fallout will hit the tens of thousands of people enrolled in plans provided by the Massachusetts Health Connector, where rates will rise by an average of 24 percent, according to the Globe.

The subsidy spat is just the most recent instance of the governor’s friction with the members of his party leading the Executive Branch. While Baker remains a member of Trump’s opioid commission, this latest maneuver from the Trump administration only underscores the deep policy divide over health care between one of the country’s most moderate Republicans and the current national face of the party.