Trump administration ending Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies

The Trump administration will end key cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, as President Trump looks for ways to dismantle his predecessor’s signature law without the help of Congress.

The White House announced the major change to the health care market late Thursday night in a statement. The cost-sharing reduction payments, paid to insurers, were a key component of Obamacare aimed at lowering out-of-pocket costs for qualified individuals and families. The payments amounted to an estimated $7 billion in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

“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 statement said. “In light of this analysis, the government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments.”

“The United States House of Representatives sued the previous administration in federal court for making these payments without such an appropriation, and the court agreed that the payments were not lawful. 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. Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.”

The announcement comes hours after Mr. Trump signed an executive order aimed at providing health care coverage across state lines, among other things, and Mr. Trump has made it clear he’s resorting to executive and administrative authority to do what Congress could not and roll back key provisions of Obamacare. Before signing that executive order, Mr. Trump said he’s “starting that process” of Obamacare repeal

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