State AGs representing 127 million Americans go to war with Trump to save health care


Trump wants to destroy health care for the American people. Attorneys general in 15 states and D.C. are suing to stop him.

Enraged that the American people rose up and stopped the repeated GOP plots to destroy Obamacare in Congress, Donald Trump has taken matters into his own hands, dismantling every part of the law he can out of sheer spite.

And on Thursday evening, Trump announced his most drastic act of sabotage yet: after months of hints and threats, he is canceling Obamacare’s cost sharing payments to insurers.

But states are not going to let Trump gut their health insurance markets without a fight.

Immediately after Trump’s announcement, a coalition of 16 Democratic attorneys general announced their plan to sue the Trump administration to keep the cost sharing subsidies in place.

The coalition, led by Eric Schneiderman of New York and Xavier Becerra of California, also includes the AGs of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Together, they represent a combined population of 127 million Americans.

These AGs have already been fighting for months to protect health care subsidies. In May, they filed a motion to intervene in a GOP suit challenging the payments. In August, a federal court ruled they have standing to sue Trump if he ended them.

For many people, this fight could determine the fate of their health care. It is hard to overstate the damage Trump’s decision could do.

Without the cost sharing payments — which as of October total $10 billion — insurers cannot afford to sell many of their current plans. Some insurers, including Anthem, pulled out of Obamacare this summer just because Trump threatened to end the payments. Even the Republicans who originally sued to stop the payments got cold feet and urged Trump not to do it.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, cutting the payments will make premiums for silver plans rise 25 percent by 2020, and because Obamacare tax credits are based on premiums, it will actually increase the federal deficit $194 billion by 2026.

The coalition of AGs is not alone in fighting to stop Trump from sabotaging Obamacare marketplaces. Insurance carriers in 10 states are planning to use a regulatory hat trick, selling multiple versions of the same plan at different rates, in a way that prevents enrollees from having to pay more than they would have.

Trump has gone out of his way to create an unneccessary health care nightmare for working families and insurance providers. Now he will have to prepare himself for the backlash as states fight to protect their people.