Multiple States Are Suing to Challenge Trump's Cut to Healthcare Subsidies

14 October, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • New York and at least a dozen other states are suing to stop President Trump from cancelling Obamacare payments to insurance companies

Becerra and the other attorneys general said they are filing the federal lawsuit Friday, arguing that withholding cost-sharing subsidies is unlawful and violates a mandate in the law.

The subsidies help lower premiums, copays and deductibles for people with low incomes.

States' attorneys general are lining up to sue the federal government to continue making cost sharing reduction payments to insurers, which President Trump Thursday evening indicated that he would be suspending.

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Other suits could be filed by health insurance companies, which are likely to contend that the payments can't be immediately suspended. A federal judge agreed, and the Obama White House appealed the decision; the appeal was put on hold this year as Congress attempted to repeal and replace the ACA.

The complaint will seek a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction requiring the cost-sharing reduction payments be made.

"Based on guidance from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare", the White House said in a statement. Nationally, the subsidies represent about $7 billion a year; of that, $750 million goes to California.

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Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen called President Donald Trump's move "mean-spirited" and said it will hurt Connecticut's working families. Those suits could be filed in the Court of Federal Claims, which handles cases in which litigants believe they have not been paid by the federal government.

"This is a reckless and cruel decision", Schneiderman said of Trump's decision. "It's long past time that President Trump learned that he doesn't get to just pick and choose which laws he'll follow, and which bills he'll pay".

Becerra said it was not clear yet how many other states would join the lawsuit. "I and many of my attorney general colleagues will fight vigorously to ensure Californians and all Americans as taxpayers receive the healthcare the law provides".

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