Speaker Ryan: Trump’s stopping Obamacare subsidies ‘monumental’

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President Donald J. Trump shakes hand with Speaker Paul D. Ryan Jr. (R.-Wis.) at Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress Feb. 28. (Photo courtesy of Speaker.gov)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan Jr. (R.-Wis.) voiced his support late Thursday of President Donald J. Trump’s decision same day to suspend direct payments to private insurance companies begun under the previous administration to buttress their participation the federalized health care system.

“Today’s decision by the Trump administration to end the appeal of that ruling preserves a monumental affirmation of Congress’s authority and the separation of powers,” the speaker said.

The payments were part of President Barack Obama’s program to support the insurance programs created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

The Cost Sharing Reduction payments were expected to reach $10 billion in fthe fiscal year2018 and add nearly $200 billion to the federal government debt by fiscal year 2026, according a Congressional Budget Office report published in August.

Ryan has long criticized the payments that were never appropriated by Congress.

“Under our Constitution, the power of the purse belongs to Congress, not the executive branch,” the speaker said.

“It was in defense of this foundational principle that the House, under the leadership of former speaker John Boehner, voted in 2014 to challenge the constitutionality of spending by the Obama administration that was never approved by Congress,” he said. “The House was validated last year when a federal court ruled that the Obama administration had indeed been making unauthorized and therefore illegal payments through Obamacare.