Trump tells Dems to 'call me to fix' health care

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump's executive order on health care (all times local):

6:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is inviting congressional Democrats to "call me to fix" America's health care system, as he prepares an order ceasing federal subsidy payments to health insurers.

In a pre-dawn post on his Twitter account Friday, the president reiterated his oft-stated argument that "Obamacare is imploding."


Addressing Democrats, he tweeted that "massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!"

Since his presidential campaign and nearly nine months in office, Trump has persistently called for getting rid of the 2010 Obama law. His fellow Republicans joined him in that cause, but neither Trump nor the GOP has been able to muster sufficient strength to get the repeal bill through the Senate.

6 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.

The Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement in a statement late Thursday night. Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Medicare administrator Seema Verma say, "We will discontinue these payments immediately."

In a separate statement, the White House said the government cannot legally continue to pay the so-called cost-sharing subsidies because they lack a formal authorization by Congress.

The subsidies help lower copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes.

The top two Democrats in Congress say the payments are legal and they warn Trump "will pay the price" for disrupting coverage.

10:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that he has been trying to unravel for months.

That's according to two people familiar with the decision who sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The White House says in a statement that the Department of Health and Human Services has determined there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers under the Obamacare law.

Trump's decision is expected to rattle already-unsteady insurance marketplaces. The president has previously threatened to end the payments, which help reduce health insurance copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes, but remain under a legal cloud.

The president's action is likely to trigger a lawsuit from state attorneys general, who contend the subsidies to insurers are fully authorized by federal law, and the president's position is reckless.

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12 p.m.

President Donald Trump predicts "millions and millions of people" will benefit from his action to unwind the health care law.

He's signed an executive order to make lower-premium plans more widely available.

But the changes Trump hopes to bring about could take months or even longer. That's according to administration officials who outlined the order for reporters Thursday morning. The proposals may not be finalized in time to affect coverage for 2019, let alone next year.

White House domestic policy director Andrew Bremberg said that Trump still believes Congress needs to repeal and replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. The White House described the order as first steps.

Trump signed the order in the White House's Roosevelt Room surrounded by Vice President Mike Pence, members of his Cabinet and Congress.

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11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that aims to make lower-premium health care plans available to more Americans.

The president says the order will provide what he calls "Obamacare relief" for millions of Americans.

Trump is relying on the executive order because the Republican-controlled Congress has been unable to pass a plan to repeal and replace the Obama-era health care law.

Trump says the health care system "will get better" with his action, and the action will cost the federal government nothing.

The president says he still wants Congress repeal and replace the Obama health care law. But his says his order will give people more competition, more choices and lower premiums.

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3:38 a.m.

President Donald Trump has made no secret he's frustrated with the failure of Congress to repeal and replace "Obamacare."

Now Trump will try to put his own stamp on health care with an executive order that aims to make lower-premium insurance plans available to more consumers. He will unveil his plan Thursday.

Administration officials say it will let groups and associations sponsor coverage that can be marketed across the land, reflecting Trump's longstanding belief that interstate competition will lead to lower premiums.

Trump's move is likely to encounter opposition from medical associations, consumer groups and even insurers - the same coalition that has blocked congressional Republicans. They say it would raise costs for the sick, while the lower-premium coverage for healthy people would come with significant gaps.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
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