Stopping Trump from diminishing health care for millions

State attorneys general may be about to hand President Trump the kind of embarrassing defeat he faced when he tried to ignore the law and U.S. Constitution in pushing for his needless and overly broad Muslim ban.

That would be fine by us.

This time, Connecticut on Friday joined with 17 other states and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit against Trump’s executive order to abruptly stop making healthcare cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments required by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). In other words, required by law.

The ACA's mandatory cost-sharing reduction payments allow insurance companies to charge affordable premiums that help working families access healthcare coverage. It is aimed at assisting individuals with annual incomes between $11,880 and $29,700 to enroll in health plans with lower deductibles, copayments or coinsurance and reduce their out-of-pocket costs.

Suddenly withdrawing the subsidies is unfair to Connecticut insurers who relied on those payments when offering lower premiums under the health-care exchanges. By sowing confusion, it will disrupt the market just as the upcoming open enrollment period begins

In addition to Connecticut, other states joining today's lawsuit are Delaware, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Leading the lawsuit is California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, according to a collective press release.

The two main insurance industry lobbying groups, America's Health Insurance Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, issued a joint statement Friday with a warning that Trump's order will hurt Americans. Many of them are lower-income working-class citizens who bought into Trump’s pledge to provide them better and more affordable health care.

What a lie.

"These benefits help real people every day, and if they are ended, there will be real consequences," the insurance lobbying groups said. "This action will make it harder for patients to access the care they need. Costs will go up and choices will be restricted."

Having arrived in office with no plan to replace Obamacare — his claim to having a plan being another lie — and unable to work with Congress to replace or repair it, Trump has turned instead to destroying the ACA piece by piece through executive orders.

The courts need to tell the president he can’t do that. It is up to Congress to amend or repeal the law.

 

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.

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