White House spokesman says Obamacare payments will be made for August

The Trump administration will make Obamacare payments to insurers for August, a White House spokesman said Wednesday.

The president has repeatedly said he might end the payments, known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, which are currently slated to cost the government $7 billion during this fiscal year and $10 billion in 2018.

These payments are made to health insurers to help low-income people enrolled under the health care law with out-of-pocket expenses.

This comes a day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that cutting off the payments would result in premiums going up 20 percent next year and the federal deficit growing by $194 billion over a decade.

In a statement Wednesday, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said that the president's decision helps "18 million Americans who buy health insurance on the individual market."

"State insurance commissioners have warned that abrupt cancellation of cost-sharing subsidies would cause premiums, copays and deductibles to increase and more insurance companies to leave the markets in 2018," said Alexander, who is calling for a more permanent bipartisan solution.

"Congress now should pass balanced, bipartisan, limited legislation in September that will fund cost-sharing payments for 2018 as well as make section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act work better to give states more flexibility in approving insurance policies.  These two actions will help make insurance policies available at affordable prices," he added.

His committee is scheduled to hold bipartisan hearings on stabilizing the health insurance market the week of Sept. 4. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.