On Wednesday, a U.S. judge refused to block President Donald J. Trump’s termination of Obamacare subsidy payments, handing the administration a victory after a number of states asked for an injunction against the decision.
Under Obamacare, the government was doling out insurance subsidies which were amounting to nearly $600 million a month. When President Trump ended the insurance subsidies, 18 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the decision. They also claimed that terminating the payments was harmful to customers, and asked for the payments to continue during litigation.
According to U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco, the federal government does not have to make the payments while litigation over the subsidies continues.
From Reuters: Chhabria, appointed by Democratic former President Barack Obama, wrote that although the case appears to be a close call “it appears initially that the Trump administration has the stronger legal argument.”
The Trump administration this month terminated the payments to the insurers, which help cover medical expenses for low-income Americans, as part of several moves to dismantle Obama’s signature healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act.
Democratic attorneys general have repeatedly opposed Trump in court this year over immigration, the environment and healthcare.
In his ruling, Chhabria said the kind of emergency order requested by the states was not necessary.
“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,” Chhabria said.
“This is true in almost all the states joining this lawsuit,” the judge added.
Democrats say the ruling makes Senate passage of a bipartisan health care agreement more urgent.
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