President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order on healthcare directing the U.S. government to increase competition and change a number of the existing Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, Sputnik reports.
The move drew swift condemnation from Democrats and threats from state attorneys general in NY and California to fight back with lawsuits. "Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people".
Meanwhile, a nationwide survey revealed in September that the USA public favors Obamacare over the Republican Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal by a 23-point margin.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi derided the subsidies cut-off in a joint statement, saying Trump would single-handedly push Americans' healthcare premiums higher.
'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 Democrats ObamaCare is imploding", he wrote. The cost-sharing reduction payments, paid to insurers, were a component of Obamacare that made health insurance more affordable for qualified individuals and families. But he has repeatedly threatened to cut them off and disparaged them as a "bailout" for insurance companies.
But the White House kept up its attacks on the health care law.
"In light of this analysis", it continued, "the Government can not lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments".
"This summer, the courts granted our intervention to defend these vital subsidies and the quality, affordable health care they ensure for millions of families across the country. I applaud President Trump for taking the lead to dismantle one of the worst pieces of legislation in our history", said Staver.
In August the Congressional Budget Office said that this move of stopping the cost-sharing reduction payments will drive up federal marketplace subsidy costs, raise premiums, cause more insurers to withdraw from the marketplaces, and increase the number of people uninsured, according to the New York Post.
While senior congressional Republicans oppose the payments themselves - they sued the Obama administration to stop them and have tried for years to repeal the underlying law altogether - there's recognition of what ending them suddenly could do to the millions of Americans insured through the Obamacare exchanges. A judge agreed but allowed the administration to continue making the payments during an appeal.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Covered California said it will ask insurers to add surcharges to some policies in 2018, because the Trump administration hasn't pledged yet to pay certain ACA consumer subsidies.