President Trump to halt subsidies to health insurers

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.

Cropped Photo: DoD / CC BY 2.0

The Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement in a statement late Thursday night. Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Medicare administrator Seema Verma say, "We will discontinue these payments immediately."

In a separate statement, the White House said the government cannot legally continue to pay the so-called cost-sharing subsidies because they lack a formal authorization by Congress.

The subsidies help lower copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes.

The top two Democrats in Congress say the payments are legal and they warn Trump "will pay the price" for disrupting coverage.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that aims to make lower-premium health care plans available to more Americans.

The president says the order will provide what he calls "Obamacare relief" for millions of Americans.

Trump is relying on the executive order because the Republican-controlled Congress has been unable to pass a plan to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law.

Trump says the health care system "will get better" with his action, and the action will cost the federal government nothing.

The president says he still wants Congress repeal and replace the Obama health care law. But his says his order will give people more competition, more choices and lower premiums.