States line up to sue Trump administration over latest Obamacare move


Nearly 20 states have filed a lawsuit against President Trump over his decision earlier this week to stop key payments that lower health insurance deductibles and co-pays for millions of Americans with modest incomes.

Attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York are among the states that announced they had filed the lawsuit in federal court in California Friday. Mr. Trump said Thursday he would end the cost-sharing subsidies, which are given to insurance companies to keep premiums down for lower-income Americans. The states’ attorneys general say Mr. Trump is not following federal law in ending a legally mandated system that already is operating.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says Trump’s action would raise health insurance prices enough that healthier people will flee the insurance markets, resulting in higher costs for those who remain.

Mr. Trump’s decision to end the cost-sharing subsidies came the same day he issued an executive order meant to enable the purchase of health insurance across state lines and allow people to buy premiums through larger group programs. Before signing that executive order, Mr. Trump said he’s “starting that process” of repealing Obamacare. 

Mr. Trump for months has urged Congress to repeal and replace his predecessor’s signature health care law, but Congress thus far has been unable to do so. 

Earlier this week, the president said he’s resorting to his “pen” to tackle the job himself, even though former President Barack Obama was harshly criticized by Republicans for his “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone” approach to executive orders.

Some Democrats have pledged to pass legislation to restore the payments, which amounted to roughly $7 billion in 2017, by the end of the year. 

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