President Trump plans to halt payments to healthcare subsidies

(Provided photo)

In what could be a major blow to Obamacare, President Trump says he plans to halt payments to health insurance companies serving the poorest customers.

The White House will stop making payments for the health care subsidies that help lower co-pays and deductibles for about seven million low-income Americans.

The president says the insurance payments were unlawful and did not have congressional funding.

"We're taking a little different route than we had hoped," President Trump said. "Because getting Congress, they forgot what their pledges were. So we're going a little different route. But you know what? In the end, it will be just as effective and maybe it will even be better.

Senator Chuck Schumer is vowing that Democrats will restore the funding and may tie it to a bill in December to keep the government running.

The CEO of Jordan Health says this order will affect many people the company serves, specifically individuals earning less than $30,000, and families earning less than $61,000.

Laurie Donahue, the chief medical officer at Jordan Health, says Trump's plan will force millions of Americans to make a tough decision: Pay rent and buy food, or pay for preventive health care.

“People are going to wait until they're sick, till they've developed diabetes, and there are consequences of that,” Donahue explained. “They’ll show up in the emergency room, and they are winding right back to where we were before the ACA was in place.”

Under Trump's plan, the government will stop giving insurance companies money that helps many enrollees afford their coverage. He calls the $7 billion in subsidies this year a "bailout" for big insurance companies.

Donahue is concerned folks will no longer have access to screenings, preventive care, or physicals.

“Immediately, probably one million people will fall off the insurance because, without the subsidies, they're not going to be able to afford the premiums that come from the insurance companies,” Donahue continued.

She says no matter how this plan pans out, it's a change that will affect all of us.

“We all pay when somebody has a stroke because blood pressure has run too high and they can’t afford medication. We all pay when somebody's diabetes costs them their legs, or cost them their heart," she said.

Donahue suggests those wishing to be heard on the president's healthcare plan should be reaching out to their elected leaders in congress.

We did reach out to Excellus Blue Cross to see if they know what impact this will have on customers. A spokesman told says they don't yet know but are waiting to learn more.

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