President Trump puts Obamacare on life support

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is calling the so-called "Obamacare" law a "broken mess" after his move that's likely to roil insurance markets.

Trump tweeted Friday that "piece by piece" his administration will begin the process of "giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!"

The White House said late Thursday it would immediately halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law.

The Department of Health and Human Services made the announcement in a statement late Thursday. “We will discontinue these payments immediately,'' said acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Medicare administrator Seema Verma.

Sign-up season for subsidized private insurance starts Nov. 1, in less than three weeks, with about nine million people currently covered.

The subsidies help lower copays and deductibles for people with modest incomes. Stopping the payments would trigger a spike in premiums for next year unless Trump reverses course or Congress authorizes the money.

A coalition of state attorneys general is planning to file suit Friday to try to block Trump from stopping the subsidies for consumers.

The office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says the federal suit will argue that the Trump administration violated a law that requires government agencies to obey existing statutes and follow orderly and transparent procedures.

The state officials will also argue that the Trump administration violated the U.S. Constitution's “Take Care Clause,'' which requires the executive branch to faithfully execute laws.