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Trump to end Obamacare subsidies amid strong criticism

Trump to end Obamacare subsidies amid strong criticism
From BBC - October 13, 2017

US President Donald Trump will end subsidies to health insurance providers designed to help low income households, as he continues his attempts to dismantle Obamacare.

The White House announced the move hours after Mr Trump signed an executive order allowing the sale of health insurance plans which are exempt from some of the law's regulations.

The announcements come after Congress repeatedly failed to repeal Obamacare.

They were instantly criticised.

Democrat Party leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement denouncing the end of subsidies as a "spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage" which would harm the poorest citizens.

Meanwhile, critics of the initial announcement argued it could de-stabilise the Obamacare market by encouraging healthy consumers to leave their current plans, prompting a spike in premium costs for older Americans and those with pre-existing conditions.

But Mr Trump says his plans will provide "relief" for people struggling to afford the rising costs, adding that ending the subsidies would "fix" the "imploding" Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act.

According to a statement from the White House, the subsidies, which run into billions each year, were not legal.

Following advice from the Department of Justice, the statement said, the Department of Health and Human Services "concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare".

Some fear this could sound the death-knell for Barack Obama's healthcare law, as insurers pull out of the marketplace.

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