AHIP, Others React to DOJ Move Against ACA in Texas

The Trump administration is calling a key part of Obamacare that protects individuals with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional

The Trump Administration Is Using a New Tactic to Dismantle Obamacare. What You Need to Know About It

The short version is that the administration is refusing to defend the ACA in court, even though it's standard practice for the Justice Department to defend laws even when they don't agree with them. Ironically, it was the penalty that caused uproar over Obamacare, but its removal was the basis for the states' argument that Obamacare is now unconstitutional: without the mandate being tied to a tax (which is how the Supreme Court defined the penalty), it's no longer based on Congressional authority and now the whole thing needs to be thrown out.

The states argue that now that Congress repealed the penalty for not having coverage in the tax bill past year, ObamaCare's individual mandate can no longer be upheld as a tax, and that it therefore should be invalidated.

The states want the court to declare the mandate to be unconstitutional.

The takeaway for consumers: This shouldn't deter people from seeking health insurance. "That's how far out the administration's position is". Rather, it argued that without the tax to encourage healthy people to sign up, the parts of the law guaranteeing coverage to people who have chronic illnesses or other pre-existing health conditions should be struck down as well. "United States are correct that Section 5000A (a) [the individual mandate] will be unconstitutional when the Jobs Act's amendment becomes effective in 2019".

Becerra is leading an effort by Democratic attorney generals from others states and the District of Columbia to defend the ACA against that lawsuit.

"You can definitely assume Democrats will use it to whip up their side", said Wilensky, administrator of Medicare under former President George H.W. Bush.

Currently, proposed rate increases range from 7 to 36 percent higher than 2018 but only up 2 percent on Silver plans for people who get tax credits to subsidize their premiums, according to a new premium tracker launched this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Collins said both parties "need to work together to address the instability and high costs plaguing our health care system". These are lawyers who have made arguments they personally disagreed with countless times.

Because the ACA contains no severability clause protecting the rest of the law from the effects of the nullification of part of the law, a ruling killing the individual mandate should kill the rest of the ACA, the states say. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor is presiding.

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Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, slammed the Trump administration on Friday for not defending the ACA in court. That included the expansion of Medicaid, allowing young people to stay on their parents' insurance up to age 26, and forbidding insurance companies from denying anyone coverage or charging them more because of pre-existing conditions, which just about all of us either already have or will one day have. Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey, Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott, Virginia, and Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal, Massachusetts, said the move by the DOJ breaks with the department's tradition of defending federal laws, regardless of whether it supports the underlying policies.

Bagley said the brief reveals the "depth of institutional decay at the Department of Justice", and he expressed profound concern about the precedent it sets.

Legal specialists also point out that the Trump administration's failure to defend the federal health law could have long-lasting implications for the rule of law in the nation.

Insurers are now in the midst of deciding whether to participate in the individual marketplaces created under the law in 2019 and, if so, what filing rates with state regulators will be.

"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.

Defenders of Obamacare view this move by the Republicans as just the latest in a plot to undermine the monumental legislation however they can since they lack the necessary votes in Congress to repeal it officially. Or, will they continue to operate under the current rules?

Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress have sought to dismantle Obamacare, which sought to expand insurance coverage to more Americans.

The Supreme Court is considering some of the issues this term.

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