A federal judge appears to be sympathetic to the idea of granting a temporary restraining order that would force the administration of President Donald Trump to continue to make Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments.
The judge, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, has scheduled a hearing on the request for the restraining order for 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time Monday.
The Affordable Care Act cost-sharing reduction subsidy program helps low-income Affordable Care Act exchange plan users pay their deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance amounts. Officials with the Trump administration said last week that they do not believe they have a valid congressional appropriation to make the payments. They said they would withhold a round of payments insurers were expecting to receive this week.
Analysts at Avalere Health have argued that the mid-year subsidy cuts could cost issuers of individual major medical coverage about $1 billion between now and the end of the year, or about $167 for each of the people who use the subsidy.
A group of attorneys general from 18 states and the District of Columbia filed a request for a temporary restraining order at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Wednesday. The attorneys general asked the court to use the order to make the Trump administration keep up the subsidy payment stream.
The court has set up a public information page for the case here.
Chhabria, a judge nominated to the court by former President Barack Obama, set a tight schedule for the parties involved.