Dem AGs look to protect ObamaCare payments in court

Dem AGs look to protect ObamaCare payments in court
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A group of Democratic attorneys general on Thursday filed a motion in federal court to intervene to defend certain ObamaCare payments. 

The officials from 15 states and Washington, D.C., argued in court that the Trump administration is not adequately defending the payments in court, pointing to statements from President Trump threatening to cancel the payments so as to “explode” 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. House Republicans sued over the payments, arguing they are being made unconstitutionally without an appropriation. 

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The attorneys general are now looking to step in to defend the payments in that lawsuit, given the danger that the Trump administration could drop its defense. 

The administration will have to give an update by a Monday deadline on whether it will drop its appeal, seek a further delay or ask for other action. 

If the payments were canceled, insurers warn they would have to spike premiums or drop out of markets altogether, causing chaos. 

“The States have a vital interest in this litigation,” the attorneys general wrote in the motion. “If the district court’s injunction goes into effect, it would critically undermine the proper implementation of the ACA—just as the House, and now the President, intend.”

“Immediate loss of CSR funding, with any future funding subject to the myriad uncertainties of the appropriations process, would harm millions of state residents and the States themselves,” they added. “Those harms amply justify intervention.”