President-elect Donald Trump is going to be in an uncomfortable position when he takes the reigns of the presidency on Jan 20.
Even though his campaign was predicated on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) he now has to decide whether to defend the law in federal court or pay tens of millions of dollars to litigants in various lawsuits filed in response to the law.
A group of insurers took the federal government to court in the fall to ask for funds they claim they were promised. And it is not likely that the lawsuits will be decided by the time Trump takes office, the Washington Examiner reported.
Now the fiscally minded president-elect has to either defend the law he doesn’t want or pay taxpayer cash to the insurers.
“It’s awkward,” former head of the Congressional Budget Office Douglas Holtz-Eakin told the Examiner. “This is why maybe there will be some attempts to solve this legislatively in the repeal process.”
Eight of the lawsuits are seeking payment for what is called the risk corridors program in which insurers that didn’t have high profits were to receive payments from the federal government who was to take the money from insurers that did have high profits.
But, as frequently happens with socialist programs, more people requested money from the government than paid in.
A whopping $2.87 billion was requested by insurers but only $362 million was paid.
Now Trump, who dislikes the law, is in the awkward position of deciding whether to defend the law or pay the litigants.
“I would assume that the Trump administration’s position is that we are not going to pay out any more than we have to,” Washington & Lee University law professor, and Obamacare supporter, Timothy Jost told the Examiner. “There’s no sign they would have any interest in settling them.”
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