A day earlier, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to remove a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In response to President Trump, 18 states sued the administration on Friday to prevent the removal of subsidies, which is a key provision that helps millions of low-income Americans pay medical expenses.
The collective response from U.S. states comes 24 hours later, and this recent action from the Trump administration is an attempt to finally dismantle the signature healthcare law passed by former President Barack Obama.
This political action on reforming healthcare remains contentious. Insurance markets were already in uncertainty with this recent turn of events. According to Reuters, “His latest action raised concerns about chaos in insurance markets. The subsidies cost $7 billion this year and were estimated at $10 billion for 2018, according to congressional analysts.”
The states included in this lawsuit presented in federal court in California were the following: Connecticut, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state.
The lawsuit requests that the administration make the payment, but legal experts predict a very difficult battle in court. The weakening of the healthcare law and this latest response by POTUS is largely due to multiple unsuccessful attempts by GOP leaders to repeal and replace the law.
U.S. states sue to block Trump Obamacare subsidies cut https://t.co/sghRHHfpan— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 13, 2017
By removing subsidies to assist vulnerable working-class Americans, insurance markets will get complicated. A New York Times report confirmed, “Without the subsidies, insurance markets could quickly unravel. Insurers have said they will need much higher premiums and may pull out of the insurance exchanges created under the ACA if the subsidies were cut off.”
Trump's decision to end Obamacare subsidy payments is expected cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars https://t.co/ADgtmexo26— NPR (@NPR) October 13, 2017
In late September, the majority of Republicans in Congress tried to repeal and replace the law once again. Their efforts irrevocably failed when the Graham-Cassidy bill suffered a defeat when Senator Susan Collins from Maine announced she would have voted against it, and effectively doomed the passage.
When it comes to healthcare in the U.S., history is our greatest teacher. This repeal of Obamacare has been a long campaign carried out by the Republican Party. A Time Magazine analysis reminds us the House has voted to repeal the ACA more than 50 times.