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Dem senator: Trump 'is setting the entire health care system on fire'

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday ripped President Trump's decision to end key ObamaCare payments known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) benefits, comparing the decision to "arson."

"This is the equivalent of health care arson. He is literally setting the entire health-care system on fire just because the president is upset that the United States Congress will not pass a repeal bill that is supported by 17 percent of the American public," Murphy said on "Fox News Sunday."

"The fact of the matter is the president is trying to sabotage the American health-care system, trying to put a gun to the head of our constituents by taking away their health care or raising their costs in order to force us to repeal a bill that the American public does not want us to repeal," he continued. 

Murphy's comments come after the White House announced on Thursday the administration would stop providing insurers with the CSR payments required under the Affordable Care Act. 

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

The move has been met with fierce, bipartisan backlash. 

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) described Trump's decision as "devastating," while Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said the move would not lead to more access to health-care coverage. 

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in federal court in California on Friday to stop the administration from halting the payments, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for Congress to bring back the payments, possibly through legislation later this year.

Republicans have consistently failed to pass ObamaCare repeal and replace legislation through the Senate.