A federal judge just handed President Trump a win in the battle against Obamacare.
Arguments from 18 states and the District of Columbia to force the Trump administration to continue making Obamacare payments was rejected by a U.S. judge on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Why “have all these attorneys general rushed to court seeking an emergency ruling against President Trump?” Judge Vince Chhabria of the US District Court for the Northern District of California said Monday during oral arguments in the case.
“State regulators have been working for months to prepare for the termination of these payments,” he wrote in his 29-page opinion on Wednesday. “And although you wouldn’t know it from reading the states’ papers in this lawsuit, the truth is that most state regulators have devised responses that give millions of lower-income people better health coverage options than they would otherwise have had.”
The Democratic state attorneys general had sought a temporary restraining order against the administration arguing that cutting off the monthly subsidies under Obamacare, which reimburse insurers for providing lower-income individuals with discounts, would hurt consumers.
Chhabria, an Obama appointee, was skeptical of the group’s claims and scolded them for seeking the emergency order. He noted that the administration had the “stronger legal argument” and the states’ contention was “counterproductive.”
In spite of the ruling that prevented the states from forcing the Trump administration to continue making payments while the case worked its way through court, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was undaunted.
“The fight for affordable health care moves forward,” he said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “The actions by the Trump Administration undermine critical payments that keep costs of health care affordable for working families.”
In announcing an end to the payments earlier this month, Trump slammed the subsidies as a form of insurance company bailouts.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 17, 2017
“One last point on the issue of confusion,” Chhabria wrote, dismissing concerns by the attorneys general that actions by the administration would be confusing to consumers.
“If the states are so concerned that people will be scared away from the exchanges by the thought of higher premiums, perhaps they should stop yelling about higher premiums.,” he wrote. “With open enrollment just days away, perhaps the states should focus instead on communicating the message that they have devised a response to the CSR payment termination that will prevent harm to the large majority of people while in fact allowing millions of lower-income people to get a better deal on health insurance in 2018.”
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