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Trump administration to end Obamacare subsidies known as cost-sharing reduction payments

Trump administration to end Obamacare subsidies known as cost-sharing reduction payments”

Frustrated over setbacks in Congress, President Donald Trump wielded his rule-making power Thursday to launch an end run that might get him closer to his goal of repealing and replacing "Obamacare".

The move drew swift condemnation from Democrats and threats from state attorneys general in NY and California to fight back with lawsuits. He promised new measures in coming months, adding, "we're going to also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and replace of "Obamacare" once and for all".

The legislation is widely known in the United States as Obamacare.

In a nod to that same constituency, the president signed an executive order earlier on Thursday to make it easier for Americans to buy bare-bones health insurance plans.

"It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America", they said.

'Make no mistake about it, @POTUS will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it'. That would drive up costs for consumers in the already-shaky "Obamacare" markets, making them less attractive for insurers and raising subsidy expenses for the government.

People with lower incomes will be unaffected since the ACA provides government subsidies that ensure their out-of-pocket insurance costs remain stable. But he has repeatedly threatened to cut them off and disparaged them as a "bailout" for insurance companies.

"The cost of the Obamacare has been so outrageous, it is absolutely destroying everything in its wake", Trump said at a White House signing ceremony.

CNN reports that Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained the change as a recommendation by the Justice Department, which has called the subsidies "unlawful payments" and a "bailout of insurance companies".

"These (cost sharing reduction) payments are in fact illegal".

"I will not allow President Trump to once again use NY families as political pawns in his unsafe, partisan campaign to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act at any cost", he continued. The order is the first official step in overhauling major federal regulations while encouraging cheaper, loosely regulated health insurance plans.

Ironically, the decision to end the $7 billion-a-year in cost-sharing payments is likely to cost the federal government more than making them - almost $200 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Some insurers are likely to sue the administration over the failure to make payments, believing they are entitled to them under the Affordable Care Act, which, much to Trump's chagrin, is still law of the land.

A judge for the federal district court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Republicans, and the Obama administration appealed the ruling.

Last week, the Trump administration began dismantling the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act by exempting employers from the federal requirement to provide insurance coverage for contraception, from birth control pills to abortion drugs and devices, in their health insurance plans if it conflicts with their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs.



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