Joined by Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia, Attorneys General Becerra and Schneiderman moved to intervene in a lawsuit filed by House Republicans that undercuts the affordability of health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At issue are ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income enrollees under the ACA.
"The stakes are very high". During this time, the President has continually played politics with people's access to affordable healthcare, including threatening to shut down the federal government by taking health care subsidies away from Americans who need health care.
The payments have been made while the lawsuit is pending, but the Trump administration has wavered on whether it will continue to make them in the future, worrying insurers as they prepare to set their premium rates for 2018.
The attorneys general are expected to cite Trump's own words vowing to let Obamacare "explode" as part of the reasoning for their intervention.
The American Health Care Act (AHCA) could lead to much higher health insurance premiums for more than six million Americans with pre-existing conditions, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The situation is extremely urgent, the Democratic officials argued, because state insurance regulators are making critical choices that will shape their insurance markets for the next year.
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He said: "We have been concerned for some time that the healthcare sectors in many countries are particularly vulnerable". Nissan Motor Co. confirmed Monday some units had been targeted, but there was no major impact on its business.
Several insurers, including Aetna and Humana, have largely left the Obamacare exchanges, citing a pool of patients who are sicker than expected and therefore more expensive.
Democratic attorneys general took a lead role to successfully block Trump's executive orders restricting travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and they are also resisting efforts to roll back environmental regulations.
In May 2016, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer sided with the Republicans, agreeing that because the payments were never appropriated from Congress, they were unlawful. The Obama administration appealed before Trump took office, leaving the new administration to ponder how to proceed. After the election, the House requested that the case be held in suspension while newly-elected President Trump had time to make decisions regarding the case.
"Because of an intervening presidential election, the current parties appear ready to agree to allow the injunction to stand, without giving this Court the opportunity to determine whether the district court had either jurisdiction to enter it or a legal basis to enjoin the permanent appropriation that Congress meant to provide", the motion reads. In February, the same court rejected a similar motion filed by Democratic attorneys general seeking to help defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a legal battle that could defang the agency.
The House GOP bill passed narrowly earlier this month, with nearly not support from the insurance industry, health care providers or patient advocacy groups groups.
The Senate is now working on its own health care bill, and the version that emerges could make significant changes to the version that passed in the House.