California joins other states to sue Trump administration over rollback of healthcare subsidies


California and other states will file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to roll back cost-sharing subsidies that help reduce the price of healthcare for millions of Americans, officials announced Friday.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said the decision to cease federal payments to health insurers that provide coverage undermines the Affordable Care Act and could result in up to 20% increases in costs, putting healthcare out of reach for millions of families.

“This is patently a decision that is reckless. It is sabotage plain and simple, and President Trump’s price hikes to Americans’ health insurance are hiding in plain sight,” Becerra said during a telephone conference call with the attorneys general of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Kentucky, who are also part of the lawsuit.

The legal challenge will say the subsidies are lawful, that the Trump administration action conflicts with federal law and that the president failed to follow proper procedure to change the subsidies that benefit 6 million people, including 700,000 Californians.

“The president can’t pick and choose which laws he wishes to follow,” Becerra said. The federal action, he said, is “essentially a $7-billion dollar tax increase for working families trying to hold onto their health insurance.”

The impact will be blunted somewhat in this state because of adjustments made this week by California’s state-based individual healthcare marketplace, Covered California.

The states also say they are harmed financially by the Trump administration’s decision, which will undermine state budgets by costing states more to provide emergency healthcare to people who lose health insurance, according to Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey.

“This is a cruel and irresponsible move,” Healey said. “It is disconnected from reality.”

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California joins other states to sue Trump administration over rollback of healthcare subsidies

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