On Thursday night, the Trump administration announced that it will no longer make cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), meant to help individuals with low to moderate income purchase Obamacare.
Trump had considered nixing the CSRs in the past, but was first going to let a lawsuit against the previous administration over the illegality of CSR’s play out a bit more first. The lawsuit claimed that since the CSRs were never voted in my congress, and funds were never appropriated for the task, that the CSRs were illegal.
Trump stopped payment to the CSRs earlier on Thursday — effective immediately — after he signed an executive order allowing people to come together and purchase insurance as a group across state lines. The payments are said to be worth some $7 billion according to ABC News.
“The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” said the White House in a statement. “Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.”
“Under our Constitution, the power of the purse belongs to Congress, not the executive branch,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan echoing the White House. “Today’s decision by the Trump administration to end the appeal of that ruling preserves a monumental affirmation of Congress’s authority and the separation of powers. Obamacare has proven itself to be a fatally flawed law, and the House will continue to work with Trump administration to provide the American people a better system.”
The move, pushed a great deal by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), is the first small step in an effort to dismantle, and eventually replace Obamacare with a more free market approach.