Last night, the Trump administration continued its dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by eliminating cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies. These $7 billion in subsidies help roughly 7 million Americans afford healthcare coverage.  This move comes on the heels of President Trump’s executive order expanding association health plans, making it easier for individuals and small businesses to purchase weaker health plans that are not subject to ACA insurance protections.

“The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” said a white house statement. “Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.”

Trump has threatened this move for months, to the point where some state regulators instructed insurers participating in the marketplaces to add a surcharge to their costs to cover this eventuality. However, according to The Washington Post, Trump held off until now because of caution from administration officials that this move and subsequent collapse of the ACA marketplace would be blamed on Republicans.

Opposition to the move came quickly and fiercely. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated his goal to challenge the decision in court. We’ve taken the Trump Administration to court before and won, and we’re ready to do it again if necessary, he said in a statement.

The debate over the legality of cost-sharing subsidies is nothing new. Republicans have long argued that the law does not expressly include language that allows the subsidies. This lead to a House Republicans suing the HHS over these payments during Obama’s second term. A federal court agreed with the House, and the case has been pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Shortly after the President’s announcement, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced they were dropping this suit.

The top Democrats in Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement which stated, It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America. Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.

The cost-sharing payments are separate from a different subsidy that provides federal assistance with premiums to more than four-fifths of the 10 million Americans with ACA coverage. However, critics of this move still predict that the removal of subsidies coupled with yesterday’s executive order will drive up costs for consumers with serious medical conditions and could cause more insurance carriers to leave the marketplaces.

Last night, the Trump administration continued its dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by eliminating cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies. These $7 billion in subsidies help roughly 7 million Americans afford healthcare coverage.  This move comes on the heels of President Trumps executive order expanding association health plans, making it easier for individuals and small businesses to purchase weaker health plans that are not subject to ACA insurance protections.

The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system, said a white house statement. Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.

Trump has threatened this move for months, to the point where some state regulators instructed insurers participating in the marketplaces to add a surcharge to their costs to cover this eventuality. However, according to The Washington Post, Trump held off until now because of caution from administration officials that this move and subsequent collapse of the ACA marketplace would be blamed on Republicans.

Opposition to the move came quickly and fiercely. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated his goal to challenge the decision in court. We’ve taken the Trump Administration to court before and won, and we’re ready to do it again if necessary, he said in a statement.

The debate over the legality of cost-sharing subsidies is nothing new. Republicans have long argued that the law does not expressly include language that allows the subsidies. This lead to a House Republicans suing the HHS over these payments during Obama’s second term. A federal court agreed with the House, and the case has been pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Shortly after the President’s announcement, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced they were dropping this suit.

The top Democrats in Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement which stated, It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America. Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.

The cost-sharing payments are separate from a different subsidy that provides federal assistance with premiums to more than four-fifths of the 10 million Americans with ACA coverage. However, critics of this move still predict that the removal of subsidies coupled with yesterday’s executive order will drive up costs for consumers with serious medical conditions and could cause more insurance carriers to leave the marketplaces.