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Trump to continue Obamacare insurer payments, for now

071917 Leonard CSR Payments July pic
Cost-sharing reduction payments will be sent out in July. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Trump administration plans to fund insurer payments for July on Thursday, according to a White House official.

The administration has been paying the funds, called cost-sharing reduction subsidies, each month as it waits for Congress to come to a consensus on whether it will repeal and replace portions of Obamacare.

The funds, expected to reach $7 billion in 2017, are mired in a legal battle that began under former President Barack Obama, which centers on whether the administration can allocate them or whether they need an appropriation from Congress. A federal judge ruled that the payments should be appropriated from Congress, but she stayed her ruling until appeals from the White House were exhausted. The Trump White House hasn't said whether it plans to continue the appeal but has said that it is waiting on pending healthcare legislation to decide.

President Trump has said that he should cut off the funding as a negotiating tactic to bring Democrats to the table to negotiate healthcare, an area Republicans have been unable to achieve consensus on.

The bill debated by Republicans in the Senate, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, includes an allocation for the funding, which would invalidate needing approval from the administration each month. Some Republicans are opposed to various portions of the legislation, however.