Trump to halt sub­si­dies to health in­sur­ers

Texarkana Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON—In a brash move likely to roil in­sur­ance mar­kets, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump plans to halt pay­ments to in­sur­ers un­der the Obama-era health care law that he has been try­ing to un­ravel for months.

Two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the de­ci­sion de­scribed

the plan late Thurs­day night, seek­ing anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to speak pub­licly.

The White House said in a state­ment that the gov­ern­ment can­not legally con­tinue to pay the so-called cost shar­ing sub­si­dies be­cause they lack a for­mal au­tho­riza­tion by Congress. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has been mak­ing the pay­ments from month to month, even as Trump threated to cut them off to force Democrats to ne­go­ti­ate over health care.

The pres­i­dent's ac­tion is likely to trig­ger a law­suit from state at­tor­neys gen­eral, who con­tend the sub­si­dies to in­sur­ers are fully au­tho­rized by fed­eral law, and the pres­i­dent's po­si­tion is reck­less.

Word of Trump's plan came on a day when the pres­i­dent had signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der di­rect­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies to de­sign in­sur­ance plans that would of­fer lower premi­ums out­side the re­quire­ments of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama's Af­ford­able Care Act.

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