FILE - In this July 24, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks about healthcare in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington.The Trump administration says it’s freezing payments under an ‘Obamacare’ program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses, a move expected to add to premium increases next year. Making the announcement Saturday, July 7, 2018 officials say the administration is acting because of conflicting rulings in lawsuits filed by some smaller insurers who question whether they’re being fairly treated. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Trump administration takes another swipe at 'Obamacare'

July 07, 2018 - 10:24 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration says it's freezing payments under an 'Obamacare' program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses, a move expected to add to premium increases next year.

At stake are billions in payments to insurers with sicker customers.

Making the announcement Saturday, officials say the administration is acting because of conflicting rulings in lawsuits filed by some smaller insurers who question whether they're being fairly treated.

The program takes payments from insurers with healthier customers and redistributes the money to companies with sicker enrollees. No taxpayer subsidies are involved.

The idea is to remove the financial incentive for insurers to "cherry-pick" healthier customers. The strategy is also used by Medicare private insurance plans.

Other insurers say the administration's action interferes with a program that's working well.

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