TRENTON — President Donald Trump's announcement that he will send cost-sharing subsidies in the Affordable Care Act will affect more than 150,000 people in New Jersey, costing them more than $166 million in benefits.

About half of the nearly 300,000 people enrolled in insurance plans purchased from the federal exchange in New Jersey got the subsidies, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

State Sen. Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex, who chairs the Senate health committee, says that since the cost-sharing subsidies from the government to insurers benefit poorer enrollees their elimination will hurt low-income populations.

"You have to ask why are you targeting low-income people?' Vitale said. "Is this a jihad against poor people?"

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J. 7th District, said that after Trump's decision, lawmakers should pass a health care plan he has endorsed that would pay for the cost-sharing reduction program "through the congressional appropriations process and implements free-market policies to improve our health care system and lower medical and insurance costs for all."

Lance said he has long argued that funding for the program is unconstitutional.

Democrat Phil Murphy's gubernatorial campaign says he would pick an attorney general who would sue Trump over his executive order.

Murphy spokesman Dan Bryan said Friday Murphy would nominate an attorney general who would take "all measures" to "protect health care."

Murphy leads Republican rival Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the race to succeed Gov. Chris Christie on Nov. 7.

Her campaign called on Washington to work toward a "solution" on health insurance.

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