ACA challenge Trump won't defend

ACA challenge Trump won't defend

ACA challenge Trump won't defend

The administration filed a response [memorandum, PDF] Thursday to the complaint along with a letter [text] from Attorney General Jeff Sessions [profile] agreeing with the plaintiffs and calling for a declaratory judgment by the court to rule that the individual mandate unconstitutional. The guarantee that people should be able to buy insurance regardless of their health history has been a popular provision of the divisive law - one that President Trump has praised, calling the law's prohibition on denying insurance to sick people "one of the strongest assets" of the Affordable Care Act in a "60 Minutes" interview before he took office.

Administration officials at the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury would not comment, instead pointing to the Justice Department filing, which said other parts of the health law would continue to stand, including its Medicaid expansion covering about 12 million low-income people.

This current lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, argues that since Congress has changed the law to remove the penalty forcing individuals to get insurance, it has inadvertently rendered the rest of the law impermissible, under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling.

Democrats have gotten the message, campaigning on healthcare not just in blue states like California, or swing states like Nevada and Florida, but red states like Kentucky, home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who once vowed to eradicate the Affordable Care Act "root and branch".

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections", the group said.

"What the states are really trying to do is bootstrap a claim against other parts of the law, and there's absolutely no basis for this", Adler said in an e-mail. Hasn't the Supreme Court already found the individual mandate as constitutional? No one in CT - or anywhere - should have to fear that they or their loved ones will be kicked to the curb and refused care when they need it most.

But Marty Lederman, who worked in the Obama Justice Department and now teaches at Georgetown Law School, says the move was unprecedented.

Despite this conclusion about the commerce clause, however, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberals to uphold the individual mandate on the ground that it was a tax, and therefore fell within Congress's separate taxing power. The administration's legal brief, filed Thursday in federal district court in Fort Worth, Texas, takes aim at those links.

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"In refusing to follow bipartisan tradition and defend the ACA in the USA federal court system, the Trump administration is nakedly admitting that it wants to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, breaking a promise that the president has made time and again", said Topher Spiro, vice president of health policy at the Center for American Progress.

On Thursday, the US Justice Department proclaimed that the part of the Affordable Care Act requiring people to have health insurance was unconstitutional.

These consumer protections proved enormously popular with Americans and are among the reasons why efforts to repeal Obamacare in Congress failed previous year. "Both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are using the people as political pawns".

The Trump administration's stance is a rare departure from the Justice Department's practice of defending federal laws in court.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, slammed the Trump administration on Friday for not defending the ACA in court. They routinely defend policies they dislike and make arguments they personally disagree with.

A continuing challenge of covering the three-ring circus that is the Trump administration is not letting the outrageous antics and statements of the president and his allies distract attention from the outrageous policies being implemented on his watch. "A compelling defense of the law is right there in black and white", Verrilli said in a statement.

The states say that without the individual mandate, the whole ACA should be struck down as unconstitutional. But it does certainly raise the prospect of a court decision that would say there could be no more protections for people with preexisting conditions. It will lead to "renewed uncertainty in the individual market" and a "patchwork of requirements in the states" and make it more challenging to offer coverage next year. By withdrawing from defending the law in court, the Trump administration is saying it no longer supports those consumer protections, which are popular with voters. And for those reasons, premiums are going up more next year than they would have otherwise.

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