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How Trump's executive order would weaken Obamacare

How Trump's executive order would weaken Obamacare

"These payments are not a bailout - they are passed from the federal government through health plans to medical providers to help lower costs for patients who see a doctor to treat their cancer or fill a prescription for a life-saving medication", they said. "The policy Trump will implement may have its merits: Current regulations prevent consumers from buying cheap, renewable coverage, and this will orient the health-care system in a freer direction". "This decision is deliberately destructive and destabilizing for the coverage of millions of Americans".

"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 press secretary said late Thursday.

They mean that someone who would normally face a deductible of $2,000 or more would potentially have no deductible.

After decades of debate, health care still remains one of the most polarizing topics in Washington.

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.

The payments have been the subject of an ongoing legal dispute.

Insurance companies still have to give the discounts to low-income customers.

Congressional Republicans have argued that the Obama administration should have sought congressional approval for the payments in a spending bill. A judge agreed but allowed the administration to continue making the payments during an appeal.

In a joint statement, the top Democrats in Congress, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, said Mr. Trump had "apparently chose to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system", The New York Times reported. The cost-sharing reduction payments, paid to insurers, were a component of Obamacare that made health insurance more affordable for qualified individuals and families.

Anthem Inc, one of the largest remaining Obamacare insurers, in August scaled back its offerings in Nevada and Georgia and blamed the moves in part on uncertainty over the payments.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. And it remains unclear now whether Republicans and Democrats will be able to find a compromise.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint calling the action "pointless sabotage".

What did the White House say?

It directs Trump's administration to work toward an increase in the use of association health plans, which would allow small business owners to join together in groups to purchase health insurance for themselves and their employees. He said he would "pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and the replace of Obamacare once and for all".