Published: Sat, October 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

California to sue Trump administration over health insurance subsidies

California to sue Trump administration over health insurance subsidies

NY will join California, Massachusetts and a dozen other states in suing the Trump administration for eliminating the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing reductions, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Friday afternoon.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) also tweeted the state's intention to go after the administration.

The attorney generals filing the lawsuit represent California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, North Carolina, Illinois, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico, Washington, Iowa, and the District of Columbia. "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".

The subsidies reduce health insurance costs under Obamacare.

"The subsidy is really a subsidy to the insurance company", Trump told reporters Friday. Becerra said Friday it is unclear whether the two lawsuits will be consolidated.

The White House announced on Thursday night that the federal government would stop making the payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, or CSRs, which help insurers cover the cost of providing less expensive health insurance plan options. In New York, we believe health care is a right, not a luxury.

Schneiderman said Trump based his decision on guidance from the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services that there were no direct provisions in law calling for the cost reduction payments.

Ending federal payments would cause premiums to rise, unless Trump changes his mind or Congress takes separate action to authorize the money. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris blasted Trump for taking steps to unwind Obamacare, following several failed Republican attempts to repeal and replace the federal health care law.

Gen. Xavier Becerra said the decision to cease federal payments to health insurers that provide coverage undermines the Affordable Care Act and could result in up to 20% increases in costs, putting healthcare out of reach for millions of families.

"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", Schneiderman said in a statement.

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