- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on Pennsylvania’s reaction to the Trump administration’s move to stop paying subsidies that lower the price of health insurance policies. (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says he’s joining his counterparts in at least a dozen states to sue the Trump administration over its decision to stop paying cost-sharing subsidies to insurers.

Shapiro on Friday said premiums for the more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians who buy individual insurance plans will skyrocket without the cost-sharing subsidies.

He says Trump is in clear violation of his legal responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Attorneys general in states such as California, Connecticut, Kentucky and New York are among those announcing they will file a federal lawsuit against the move.

But Trump has defended the decision, saying that the subsidies are “almost a payoff” to insurance companies to lift their stock prices instead of helping low-income people afford their premiums.

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2 p.m.

Pennsylvania’s leading hospital association says it’s disappointed by the move by the Trump administration to stop paying cost-sharing subsidies to insurers.

Andy Carter, the president and CEO of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said in a statement Friday the subsidies help lower-income individuals secure health insurance. He says more than half a million Pennsylvanians could see their insurance premiums spike by more than 20 percent during 2018.

He’s asking Congress to take swift action to protect people from the increases and help support a competitive insurance market.

Antoinette Kraus of the Pennsylvania Healthcare Access Network says Pennsylvanians received $214 million in cost-sharing reductions last year. She says higher tax credits would make up part of the higher premiums that result from the loss of the federal reimbursement to insurers.

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11 a.m.

Premiums for health insurance through the Healthcare.gov marketplace in 2018 would rise by a much steeper rate in Pennsylvania if the federal government stops paying cost-sharing subsidies to insurers.

Antoinette Kraus of the Pennsylvania Healthcare Access Network said Friday that the Trump administration’s move to end the subsidies purposely undermines the stability of the 2010 federal health care law.

Earlier this year, insurers asked state regulators to approve an average 9 percent premium increase in 2018, assuming the federal government continued the subsidies. But Kraus says insurers proposed a 23 percent average increase without the subsidies. The Insurance Department hasn’t published final rates for 2018 yet.

Kraus says Pennsylvanians received $214 million in cost-sharing reductions last year. She says higher tax credits would make up part of the higher premiums.

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