Trump administration won't defend ACA in case brought by GOP states

Trump administration won't defend ACA in case brought by GOP states

Besides urging nullification of the insurance-buying mandate itself, the new government position argued that two of the most popular features of the ACA must fall along with it: the requirement that insurance companies can not deny health insurance to individuals because of existing or pre-existing medical conditions, and the requirement that they can not charge higher insurance premiums based on existing or pre-existing conditions.

On Thursday night, the DOJ declined to defend ObamaCare against a lawsuit filed by Texas and 19 other GOP-led states, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

Why the DOJ won't defend the health care law in Texas v. Now that Congress has chose to zero out the penalty, as Republicans did a year ago as part of the 2017 tax cut, the pre-existing conditions have to go, too.

Why they did it: Republicans have targeted the Affordable Care Act for elimination ever since it passed, and President Trump continues to promise that it will be overturned.

"This is not a new experience for us under this new Trump era of having to defend Californians", Becerra said.

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.

One wrinkle that could keep the case alive, even if the states that oppose the ACA and the Trump administration want to resolve the case in favor of Texas and its allies, is that California, New York and other states that support the ACA have asked to intervene.

The lawsuit argues that with the mandate to purchase insurance still technically in place, but the financial penalty for those who don't abide by it being removed beginning in 2020, Congress' taxing power no longer applies to the provision, leaving it unconstitutional.

The nation's top insurers' lobby said Friday the administration's position is untenable and could destabilize the markets as insurers develop their offerings for next year. In their suit, lodged in February in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, they argue that the entire law is now invalid. 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 health care".

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The government's main point of contention in this case is that it's no longer fair to make insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions now that the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy into the health insurance pool is gone. "Congress has now kicked that flimsy support from beneath the law". Yet how they would do so was far from clear, especially given Congress' inability so far under the administration to pass health-care legislation. In the meantime, the existing law will likely remain.

In a statement, America's Health Insurance Plans, a leading trade group, predicted the Trump administration's decision could lead to difficultly for insurers setting rates, a patchwork of state insurance requirements, and higher rates for older and sicker Americans.

"We agree with the [Trump] administration that a preliminary injunction should not be granted to the plaintiffs".

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who voted against the Republican repeal bills in the Senate previous year, also expressed concern about the administration's new push, saying it "creates further uncertainty that could ultimately result in higher costs for millions of Americans and undermine essential protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes".

Three career lawyers in the department's civil division withdrew from the case earlier Thursday and did not sign the brief.

"I find it impossible to believe that the many talented lawyers at the department could not come up with any arguments to defend the ACA's insurance market reforms, which have made such a difference to millions of Americans", Verrilli said.

Regardless of the federal court's ruling-which observers said may come by late summer or early fall-New York state law now protects consumers from such actions by insurers. "Both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are using the people as political pawns". The case would then go to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where appointees of Republican presidents hold a 10-5 majority over Democratic appointees.

If the court ultimately declared the provisions targeted by the Trump Administration unconstitutional, California would be temporarily cushioned from the effects because there are laws already on the books should the ACA - or its provisions - go away.

"I urge Congressman MacArthur publicly demands that President Trump defends protections for pre-existing conditions and upholds the ACA immediately, so our premiums and medical bills don't skyrocket even further", Kim said in a statement responding to Thursday's decision.

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