GOP governor: Trump halting ObamaCare payments is ‘devastating’

Nevada's Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval ripped President Trump's decision to end key payments to insurers selling ObamaCare plans on Friday, calling the move "devastating."

The payments help low-income people afford co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs associated with health insurance policies.

“It’s going to hurt people. It’s going to hurt kids. It’s going to hurt families. It’s going to hurt individuals. It’s going to hurt people with mental health issues. It’s going to hurt veterans. It’s going to hurt everybody,” Sandoval, who has been critical of Trump's attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, told The Nevada Independent.


“And so this is something that I’ve been very supportive [of] during my administration in terms of expanding health care and making sure that people have access to affordable health care and I’m going to continue on that path," he continued.

Sandoval's comments come one day after the White House announced that it would end the payments. Insurers have called the payments critical, saying that without them, they would have to massively increase premiums or exit the individual market. 

"Based on guidance from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare. In light of this analysis, the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments," the White House said in a statement. 

The cost-sharing reduction payments at hand are worth an estimated $7 billion.

However, Sandoval is not the first Republican to speak out against the move, which is the administration's most aggressive attempt yet to do away with former President Obama's signature health-care law. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCollins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase MORE (R-Maine), who has been against each of the last two GOP Senate attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, called Trump's decision concerning.

“I will say that I am very concerned about the president's executive order that was issued yesterday and his decision to do away with an important subsidy that helps very low-income people,” Collins said.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) blasted the decision on Twitter, saying Trump's move does not lead to more access to affordable coverage.