Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A federal judge in California chose not to block President Donald Trump's executive order to end government insurance subsidies required by the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria on Wednesday declined a request by California, 17 other states and the District of Columbia to issue an emergency order requiring the payments be restored.
Chhabria said there was no immediate threat to consumers that would compel him to force Trump to continue the payments. The subsidies are paid to least insurance companies to off-set discounts they must give to lower-income customers.
"Because of the measures taken by the states in anticipation of a decision by the administration to terminate [Cost Sharing Reduction] payments, the large majority of people who purchase insurance on exchanges throughout the country will either benefit or be unharmed. In particular, many lower-income people stand to benefit," he said.
Chhabria, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, added that Trump's order to end the payments earlier this month may not have violated the law.
"Although the case is at an early stage, and although it's a close question, it appears initially that the Trump administration has the stronger legal argument," he said.
Also Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office said a bipartisan plan put forth by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., to stabilize the healthcare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act would lower the federal deficit by $3.8 billion and "would not substantially" change the number of people with health insurance.