Political News

Judge rejects request to force Obamacare subsidy payments

Posted October 25, 2017 4:13 p.m. EDT

— A federal judge in California denied a request to force the Trump administration to continue to make cost sharing subsidy payments aimed at helping lower income individuals afford health care costs under Obamacare.

The order is a loss for 18 states and the District of Columbia, which had sought a temporary restraining order against the administration. The White House said earlier this month that it would immediately stop funding the cost-sharing subsidies reimburse insurers for reducing the deductibles and co-pays of lower-income Obamacare enrollees.

Judge Vince Chhabria of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, held oral arguments on the case on Monday.

Chhabria seemed extremely skeptical of the states' argument Monday. He questioned whether they could show the "immediate" harm necessary for him to issue nationwide injunction. He also suggested that many of the states had fair warning and anticipated that the Trump administration might pull funding.

States like California, he said, had structured their 2018 rates in a way that would protect insurers and low income individuals who received the subsidies.

This story is breaking and will be updated.