A few hours after Donald Trump signed an executive order laying the groundwork for depleted health care plans down the road, the White House confirmed reports on Thursday that the Trump administration will be ending federal subsidies for health insurers that help millions of low-income Americans afford health care by covering their deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Politico reports that the Affordable Care Act subsidies, known a “cost-sharing reduction payments” were projected to amount to $7 billion this year. Top officials at the Health and Human Services Department announced in a separate statement on Thursday that the cessation of funds would be implemented immediately.
Of its shameful, harmful political calculation the White House had this to say: “The government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments…. Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.”
The Washington Post reports that scrapping the subsidies is grounds for any insurer to back out of its contract with the federal government to sell health coverage in 2018.
Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement that with these health care modifications Trump has “apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health car system.” They go on the call Tump’s decision “a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America.”