The Trump administration announced late Thursday that it will stop paying insurers cost-sharing subsidies that have helped insurers cover lower-income Americans through the Obamacare marketplaces.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the move was based on Justice Department recommendations.
“The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” Sanders said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Trump signed an executive order to allow insurers to sell cheaper insurance policies that offer fewer benefits and protections.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a joint statement saying the move would increase Americans’ premiums 20 percent or more.
“Sadly, instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems President Trump will single-handedly hike Americans’ health premiums,” the joint statement said. “Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.”