Trump to cut insurance subsidies in bid to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare

13 Oct 17

US president Donald Trump will cut billions in subsidies to health insurance companies for low-income citizens.

The action against his predecessor Barack Obama’s flagship healthcare reform – dubbed Obamacare – will stop federal support of up the $7bn to insurance companies to help cover the medical needs of low-income Americans.

The White House said the healthcare scheme is unlawful and there is “no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare” and the government cannot “lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments”.

Obama’s Affordable Care Act extended insurance to 20 million Americans.

Trump said Obamacare had been a “disaster” and he wanted to start the ‘repeal and replace’ process “in a very positive manner”.

He went on to say that the “Obamacare nightmare” has been forced onto the people of America and he would sign an executive order “taking the first steps to providing millions of Americans with Obamacare relief”.

The order will allow the sale of health insurance plans that are exempt from Obamacare regulations and may ease the rules allowing small businesses and individuals to buy cheaper plans with fewer benefits.

It would also lift limits on short-term health insurance plans and regulations requiring “essential health benefits” under Obamacare, such as maternity care, emergency room visits and mental health treatment.

However, the order would not lift the mandate that requires Americans to have some form of health insurance.

But Trump’s opponents expressed concern and said they may bring a lawsuit to stop his actions.

New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement on his website: “President Trump’s radical agenda – from dismantling the Affordable Care Act, to gutting common sense environmental protections, to enacting an unconstitutional Muslim Ban and rescinding DACA – is a threat to New Yorkers everywhere.”

He said on twitter that New Yorkers’ healthcare “is not a bargaining chip.”

He also said: “Let me be clear: if the Trump Administration takes any action that violates the law – or tramples on New Yorkers’ constitutional rights – we will take them to court.”

However, the president stated he would continue to press Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

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