AG Herring announces lawsuit opposing President Trump’s healthcare order

Virginia Attorney General, Mark Herring, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Attorney General Mark Herring announced Friday that he is filing a lawsuit to defend cost-share reduction payments, known as CSR’s after a recent Executive Order by President Donald Trump.

8News spoke with Herring who said he considers the president’s actions ‘unlawful’ and he’s filing the lawsuit to defend the many people who depend on affordable health care.

“I don’t think the president’s actions today help anyone. If anything, they hurt millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of Virginians would be harmed by this action,” Herring said.

Herring joined 18 other attorney generals in filing suit against Trump’s administration to defend cost-share reduction payments.

“These are payments the federal government is required to make under the Affordable Care Act that helps make insurance a lot more affordable for millions of Americans,” Herring said.

President Trump signed the executive order Thursday, a dramatic move he says is favorable.

“This will cost the United States government virtually nothing and people will have great, great healthcare,” Trump said.

But Attorney General Herring says it will cause insurance premiums to skyrocket.

He says 240,000 Virginians depend on plans that include CSRs.

“As Attorney General, it’s my responsibility to protect them, to protect their access to quality affordable healthcare and I’m going to stand up and fight for them,” Herring said.

Jill Hanken from the Virginia Poverty Law Center said her office is overwhelmed with customers confused about the future of affordable health care.

“As far as consumers are concerned, the cost-sharing reduction plans are still in place,” Hanken told 8News.

Herring said he hopes lawmakers from both sides find a solution to make the Affordable Care Act better instead of destroying what’s already in place.

Insurance companies in Virginia had already raised their premiums for middle and upper-income customers in anticipation of the Federal government’s actions.

Trump tweeted about the situation Friday morning, saying Obamacare was “imploding.”