Trump Administration Won't Defend ACA

12 June, 2018, 06:10 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • Jim West via ZUMA

Becerras pledge came in response to an announcement from the administration Thursday that it would not defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act in court.

You may remember that the Obama team was anxious about the interaction between the individual mandate and the popular ACA provisions that say insurance companies can't refuse to cover anybody because of pre-existing conditions and can't charge you more if you are already sick.

Their reasoning was borrowed from Barnett, who had proposed in his article that while the Congress has the power to regulate existing commercial activities, it can't force people to undertake a commercial activity they are not already engaged in. Some legal experts say the suit is weak, since it turns on the idea that if one part of a law is invalid, the whole thing is invalid, without recognizing that the Congress passed the law and is free to alter it while leaving the rest in place.

California and 15 other states also filed a brief Thursday to intervene and defend the ACA and its consumer protections.

If the Trump administration isn't going to defend the health law in this lawsuit, who will? "For the Trump administration to crumple that up and throw it out the window is galling". The administration's arguments are so radical that, just before the brief was filed, several career attorneys in the Justice Department working on the case filed a motion to withdraw, refusing to sign their name to the arguments the administration was advancing. The lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, contends that without an individual mandate, the entirety of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. Lance, who faces a tough reelection race, distanced himself from his party's health-care legislation and the tax law that repealed the individual mandate.

Weighing in on a Texas challenge to the health law, the Justice Department argued that legally and practically the popular consumer protections can not be separated from the unpopular insurance mandate, which Congress has repealed, effective next year.

"After careful consideration, and with the approval of the President of the United States, I have determined that. the Department will not defend the constitutionality of 26 U.S.C. 5000A (a), and will argue that certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are inseverable from that provision", writes Attorney General Sessions in the letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), referring to the section of the ACA that requires most Americans maintain minimum essential coverage.

The Justice Department said that also nullified two other major provisions of Obamacare linked to the individual mandate, including one barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But it seems less worrisome than the possibility that courts, including the Supreme Court, might actually adopt the Trump administration's view and strike down the ACA provisions on pre-existing conditions.


He said to "roll back the clock" would be "irresponsible and risky". Allowing the Democratic officials to join the suit "allows us to protect the health and well-being of these Americans by defending affordable access to healthcare".

A spokesman for his opponent in the race, Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, declined to comment. Hasn't the Supreme Court already found the individual mandate as constitutional? Insurers would be able to charge higher premiums for patients with chronic conditions, in certain occupations, women or older people.

“Its hard to look at California and imagine just folding it up and starting over.”.

"Initial filings for 2019 plans have shown that, while rates are higher due to the zeroing out of the individual mandate penalty, the market is more steady for most consumers than in previous years, with insurance providers stepping in to serve more consumers in more states", AHIP says in the statement.

"I still believe the ACA was unconstitutional in many aspects and passing under the auspices of the tax argument was not proper", said Chris Collins, who Represents a solidly Republican district in Upstate New York.

On Friday, America's Health Insurance Plans, an insurance industry trade group, criticized the federal government's filing.

This story was produced by, which publishes, a service of the.

SIMON: Julie Rovner, chief Washington, DC, correspondent for Kaiser Health News.

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