WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that he has been trying to unravel for months.
That’s according to two people familiar with the decision who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The White House says in a statement that the Department of Health and Human Services has determined there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers under the Obamacare law.
Trump’s decision is expected to rattle already-unsteady insurance marketplaces. The president has previously threatened to end the payments, which help reduce health insurance copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes, but remain under a legal cloud.
The president’s action is likely to trigger a lawsuit from state attorneys general, who contend the subsidies to insurers are fully authorized by federal law, and the president’s position is reckless.
Congressional Democratic leaders say it will be an act of “vast, pointless sabotage” if President Donald Trump halts payments to insurers under “Obamacare.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi reacted Thursday night to news reports that Trump planned to stop the cost-sharing payments.
The Democrats say Trump “has apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system.” They add that “millions of hard-working American families will suffer just because President Trump wants them to.”
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