Trump administration's latest attack on Obamacare would gut protections for the sick

Jun 12, 2018, 01:43
Trump administration's latest attack on Obamacare would gut protections for the sick

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended this move in a letter, claiming that this position is simply a matter of "statutory interpretation", regarding those positions, and because he is not saying that Obamacare as a whole is unconstitutional, it "therefore does not implicate the Department's general practice of defending the constitutionality of federal law".

Similar end runs are being attempted in Nebraska and Utah, states Trump carried, where GOP lawmakers have also balked at extending coverage under the law. In it, the states deem the entirety of Obamacare and its regulations invalid.

"The Trump administration is coming after the Affordable Care Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions and it's time for us to draw a hard line", Sen.

The lawsuit, filed in February by Texas and other GOP-led states, is in many ways a replay of the politically divided litigation that ended with the Supreme Court upholding the health care overhaul in 2012.

And though the federal government will apparently no longer defend a pillar of the law, a group of left-leaning states have stepped in to back it in court.

The Justice Department took a different tack in a court filing on Thursday.

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The provisions DOJ says should be invalidated are central to the ACA and would gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

"The American public widely supports retaining protections for pre-existing conditions".

Indeed, people who pay the full cost of their individual health plans and aren't eligible for subsidies under the health law have been clamoring for relief from several years of double-digit premium increases. But the court will take notice that the Trump administration has switched sides. A Justice Department spokeswoman said the lawyers' withdrawal had been a department decision, declining to specify whether the lawyers had personally objected to continuing on the case. Collins, who voted against the Republican bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the Senate a year ago, also expressed concern about the administration's new push to undo it.

For years, Republicans said they would protect people who suffer from preexisting conditions and were priced out of the individual market.

Republicans seem determined not only to make American health care more inefficient and cruel in every way they can think of, but to do it while making themselves as unpopular as possible.

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

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Becerra accused the administration of going “AWOL.” It “has chose to abandon the hundreds of millions of people who depend on” the law, he said in an interview with Kaiser Health News. President Trump has said he wants a repeal and replacement of the law.

The Trump administration filed a brief in the case on Thursday, arguing that without the tax to encourage healthy people to sign up, the parts of the law guaranteeing coverage to people with previous health conditions — without charging them higher rates — should be struck down as well.

"The goal of Texas' lawsuit is to leave Americans without health insurance, forcing them to choose between their health and other needs", says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

For example, the Obama administration decided not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011. It said Medicaid expansion and the rest of the law can remain in place.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a letter to Congress on Thursday that Trump, who campaigned on repealing the law and almost did so his first year in office, approved the legal strategy. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released in early June found that 36 percent people are "very uncomfortable" with a candidate who supports repealing the ACA - a significant jump up from 25 percent in 2010.

"In light of yesterday's news that the Justice Department will no longer be defending the Affordable Care Act, a reminder: the ACA isn't collapsing". But the Department of Health and Human Services could, in theory, create exceptions to those rules or rewrite them in way that could upend coverage for some consumers midyear, Levitt said. And for those reasons, premiums are going up more next year than they would have otherwise. 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.

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