Trump signs executive order changing affordable Care Act Healthcare Insurance rules

Trump signs executive order changing affordable Care Act Healthcare Insurance rules

Earlier Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order calling for health care associations, and for easing of restrictions on health care programs.

The move drew swift condemnation from Democrats and threats from state attorneys general in NY and California to fight back with lawsuits.

"We're going to also pressure Congress very strongly to finish the repeal and the replace of Obamacare once and for all", Trump said. The House of Representatives in May passed Republican legislation to gut Obamacare.

The order allows for a broader interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which could, according to a White House statement, "potentially allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together to offer health care coverage to their employees", in addition to expanding coverage through short-term and low-priced limited duration insurance (STLDI).

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.

They also called the move a "spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage".

Democrats denounced Trump's order as more "sabotage" while Republicans called it "bold action" to help consumers. The cost-sharing reduction payments, paid to insurers, were a component of Obamacare that made health insurance more affordable for qualified individuals and families.

Experts say consumers aren't likely to see major changes any time soon, although the White House is promising lower costs and more options.

Addressing Democrats, he tweeted that "massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped". The reimbursements are known as cost-sharing reduction payments, or CSRs.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is already planning to sue the administration over the move, along with a number of other state attorneys general.

"I will not allow President Trump to once again use NY families as political pawns in his risky, partisan campaign to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act at any cost", he continued.

"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". This is expected to lead to cheaper plans with scaled-back coverage.

Ironically, the decision to end the $7 billion-a-year in cost-sharing payments is likely to cost the federal government more than making them - almost $200 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. A judge agreed but allowed the administration to continue making the payments during an appeal.

The administration late Thursday said it would stop providing insurers with the CSR payments required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as Trump has long threatened to do.

That case became more complicated in August when a U.S. appeals court allowed 16 Democratic state attorneys general to defend the payments and have a say in the legal fight.