Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

Court Complicates Trump's Threat to Cut 'Obamacare' Funds

"He's really a terrible client, President Trump is," University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley said

President Donald Trump listens during during an event to unveil legislation that would place new limits on legal immigration, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Washington, photo: AP/Evan Vucci
5 months ago

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s bold threat to push “Obamacare” into collapse may get harder to carry out after a new court ruling.

The procedural decision late Tuesday by a federal appeals panel in Washington has implications for millions of consumers. The judges said that a group of states can defend the legality of government “cost-sharing” subsidies for copays and deductibles under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if the Trump administration decides to stop paying the money.

Trump has been threatening to do just that for months, and he amped up his warnings after the GOP’s drive to repeal and replace “Obamacare” fell apart in the Senate last week. The subsidies help keep premiums in check, but they are under a legal cloud because of a dispute over the wording of the ACA. Trump has speculated that he could force Democrats to make a deal on health care by stopping the payments.

The court’s decision is “a check on the ability of the president to sabotage the Affordable Care Act in one very important way,” said Tim Jost, professor emeritus at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia, a supporter of the ACA who has followed the issue closely.

Because of the ruling, legal experts said, states can now sue if the administration cuts off the subsidies. Also, they said, the president won’t be able to claim he’s merely following the will of a lower court that found Congress had not properly approved the money.

The Justice Department had no comment on the decision. The White House re-issued an earlier statement saying, “the president is working with his staff and his Cabinet to consider the issues raised by the…payments.”

In a twist, the appeals court panel seemed to take such statements into account in granting 17 states and the District of Columbia the ability to intervene on behalf of consumers.

The judges’ decision said states’ doubts that the administration could adequately defend their interests in court were fanned by “accumulating public statements by high-level officials both about a potential change in position.”

“He’s really a terrible client, President Trump is,” University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley said. “The states point to his public statements and say, ‘Are you kidding me? We know the president is poised to throw us under the bus and we know because he said so.'”

The health law requires insurers to help low-income consumers with their copays and deductibles. Nearly 3 in 5 HealthCare.gov customers qualify for the assistance, which can reduce a deductible of $3,500 to several hundred dollars. The annual cost to the government is about $7 billion.

The law also specifies that the government shall reimburse insurers for the cost-sharing assistance that they provide.

Nonetheless, the payments remain under a cloud because of a disagreement over whether they were properly approved in the health law, by providing a congressional “appropriation.”

House Republicans trying to thwart the ACA sued the Obama administration, arguing that the law lacked specific language appropriating the cost-sharing subsidies.

A district court judge agreed with House Republicans, and now the case is before the U.S. appeals court in Washington

If Trump makes good on his threat, experts estimate that premiums for a standard “silver” plan would increase by about 19 percent. And more insurers might decide to leave already shaky markets.

In Congress, some prominent lawmakers in both parties are saying they hope to provide at least a temporary guarantee for the subsidies before open enrollment season for 2018 starts Nov. 1

RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Latest News

Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state A ...

4 days ago
Business

Asian stocks mixed ahead of Fed rate ann ...

4 days ago
Entertainment

NFL Network suspends analysts over sexua ...

4 days ago
Business

Minnesota announces restrictions on usin ...

4 days ago
Most Popular

Energy Secretariat Grants Permissions to ...

By The Associated Press
Business

White House Steps Up Aid for Financially ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Trump Faces Obstacles in Bid to Shake Up ...

By The Associated Press
Business

Brazil's Agnelli, Who Turned Vale Into T ...

By Reuters
Business

Online Lodging Service Airbnb Opens Cuba ...

By The Associated Press
Business