A federal judge Wednesday rejected a request which he order the Trump administration to immediately resume paying Obamacare insurers key subsidies which the government cut off in recent days.
Judge Vince Chhabria’s decision came after a coalition of more than a dozen states last week asked for an emergency order blocking the administration’s move to cease paying the insurers.
Chhabria denied which bid two days after holding a hearing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California along with hearing arguments via lawyers for the states along with for the Trump administration.
However, the case by the states will continue in which court. along with which could ultimately lead to restoration of the so-called cost-sharing reduction payments.
At the same time, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators can be pushing a bill which could restore the payments to insurers.
“Although the case can be at an early stage, along with although which’s a close question, which appears initially which the Trump administration has the stronger legal argument,” Chhabria wrote in his decision.
He pointedly noted which despite the claims by the plaintiffs, most states have taken steps which will protect many consumers via the termination of the payments, inside the short term.
Those steps will, in many cases, lead to consumers either not paying any more for their health plans next year than they today do, or to actually paying less.
Chhabria was appointed to his seat by President Barack Obama, who had pushed for passage of the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare can be formally known.
At issue are billions of dollars in federal payments which health insurers had received to compensate them for discounts given low-income Obamacare customers for their out-of-pocket health costs. The discounts are mandated by law along with will continue, despite the loss of the reimbursements to insurers for them.
The Trump administration on Oct. 12 said which was cutting off those payments, effective last Friday, because the money for them had not been separately appropriated by Congress. President Donald Trump for months had threatened to end the payments, which had been made by the Obama administration since 2014, when Obamacare health plans first took effect.
The House in 2014 sued the Obama administration, claiming the reimbursements were illegal given the lack of congressional appropriation. A federal judge ruled inside the House’s favor last year, nevertheless her decision was stayed by an appeal of her ruling.
The coalition of 18 states along with the District of Columbia which sued the Trump administration in an effort to restore the payments has argued which the Affordable Care Act itself authorizes the payments to be made by the government.