The Latest: Trump tells Dems to 'call me to fix' health care

The Latest: Trump tells Dems to 'call me to fix' health care

In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump will "immediately" halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law he has been trying to unravel for months.

But the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land for now, and the president said he still wants to see it gone.

"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".

People with lower incomes will be unaffected since the ACA provides government subsidies that ensure their out-of-pocket insurance costs remain stable.

Obamacare advocates were outraged by that move - but it was not clear how much damage the order would actually end up doing to Affordable Care Act insurance programs. The payments amounted to an estimated $7 billion in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But attempts by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare failed in July and September, in part because the proposed legislation would have caused millions of Americans to lose healthcare coverage.

Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, stood behind Trump as he signed the executive order.

President Trump finally made good on his promise to yank funding from a key set of Obamacare subsidies.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday night blasted the administration's decision to end the key payments, describing the move as "sabotage".

Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the chamber's health committee, have called for a short term legislative solution to the issue in order to eliminate uncertainty that has been rattling health insurers for months.

"Hundreds of thousands of New York families rely on the Affordable Care Act's subsidies for their health care - and again and again, President Trump has threatened to cut off these subsidies to undermine our healthcare system and force Congress to the negotiating table. The NAIC has long expressed concerns with expanding [associated health plans] in a manner that reduces consumer protections or solvency requirements that promote safe and sound markets", Nickel said.

The payments have been the subject of an ongoing legal dispute.

Easing current restrictions on short-term policies that last less than a year - an option for people making a life transition, from recent college graduates to early retirees.

Trump's executive order comes several weeks before the Nov. 1 start of Obamacare's open enrollment period for 2018 plans.

The Obama administration had been concerned that businesses could use association health plans to flout ACA policies and coverage mandates. Some are spreading it out across all their plans, but others are limiting it to just silver-tier polices - the plans eligible consumers must purchase to receive the cost-sharing subsidies.

'Sadly, instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems @POTUS will singlehandedly hike America's health premiums, ' he wrote.

"They can cobble these things together pretty easily", John Graves, a health policy expert at Vanderbilt University, told the Times.

Democratic state attorneys general have said they will sue if Trump tries to destroy Obamacare.