Democrats Are Launching A Legal Fight To Save Obamacare's Subsidy Payments


A coalition of US states will file a new lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's plan to end Obamacare subsidies to health insurers that help low-income people pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, a source in the NY attorney general's Office said on Friday.

"The industry has been urging Congress to clear up the legal dispute and formally direct the executive branch to make the monthly payments". The next monthly installment is due October 18, leaving a federal judge there only days to act on the request if the payments are to continue uninterrupted.

Critics of Trump's executive order warn the cheaper-plans-with-less-coverage option will inevitably drive up insurance costs for Americans with serious medical conditions, and cause more insurers to abandon the ACA marketplaces. "The number of uninsured Americans will increase once again, hurting vulnerable individuals and directly burdening the states". Friday morning, the Trump administration filed legal documents in the 2014 case cementing that position.

Schneiderman said ending the subsidies is an attempt by Trump to "blow up" the nation's health care system. It alleges that Trump is in violation of the Affordable Care Act, Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution's Take Care clause.

Addressing Democrats, he tweeted that "massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped". The president's move, he said, is "unacceptable, it's cruel and it's unlawful". Schneiderman contended that the ACA, also known as Obamacare, authorized those payments on its own. Nationally, the subsidies represent about $7 billion a year; of that, $750 million goes to California.

The new lawsuit would be separate from an existing case now pending before an appeals court in Washington in which 16 Democratic state attorneys general are defending the legality of the payments.

Representatives for the White House and the Justice Department didn't immediately respond to emailed requests for comment on the lawsuit.

I will not allow President Trump to once again use NY families as political pawns in his risky, partisan campaign to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act at any cost. "This is sabotage, plain and simple", Becerra said in a statement released on Friday.

Sessions wrote that Affordable Care Act did not allow agencies to do what they had been doing for years, which is make payments from a separate, tax-related permanent appropriation. The states say that millions of its residents will be harmed by the administration's actions by making health insurance more expensive and less accessible.

In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman disagrees, according to CNBC.

The fight may be waged in at least two courts.

House Republicans sued the Obama administration over the payments claiming that they were illegal because Congress did not appropriate with them.