Democrats see opportunity in Trump administration's dismissal of ACA

Democrats see opportunity in Trump administration's dismissal of ACA

In a court filing late Thursday, the Trump administration is specifically urging the Texas federal court to strike down two provisions from the ACA: one that requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and the other that prevents insurers from charging individuals a higher premium due to their pre-existing condition. It said in a brief that the Affordable Care Act's rules barring insurers from denying coverage or charging different rates based on a person's medical history should no longer be enforced because they were created to work alongside the individual mandate.

The background: Twenty states, led by Texas, sued the federal government in February as part of an effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act, arguing that, because the GOP tax bill eliminated the penalty for individuals who don't buy health insurance, the law as a whole was unconstitutional.

The shift to health care is a notable strategy by which Democrats are hoping to remind American voters that Republicans are "deliberately sabotaging" the health care system, as Schumer put it in a letter he wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier in the week.

Sessions said in his letter that the Justice Department was not arguing that the entire law does not pass constitutional muster. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, previously helped tank Republicans' efforts to repeal and replace the ACA citing their concerns over the possible elimination of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

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.

On June 7, California and the other states with Democratic attorneys general filed their response to the preliminary injunction motion.

The ACA individual major medical insurance mandate provision originally required people who failed to get covered to pay a penalty.

As the Cuomo administration frequently points out, the state's uninsured rate has fallen to below 5%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and insurance can be purchased for less than half its price in 2013 before the ACA was implemented.

"We strongly condemn the Administration's decision not to defend the patient protections provided in the Affordable Care Act, an established law of the land", APA President Altha Stewart, M.D. said.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...as recently amended, forces an unconstitutional and irrational regime onto the States and their citizens.

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The Department of Justice has said it will not legally defend the ACA's restriction on insurers asking about pre-existing health conditions as a determinant for whether to offer coverage and at what rates, saying it believes the provision is unconstitutional.

Sixteen states have intervened in the case to support the law.

Stacy Stanford, policy analyst for the Utah Health Policy Project, a think tank and advocacy organization that is also a federal health exchange enrollment hub, said "the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and therefore the administration should be defending it". But past year the Republican-controlled Congress eliminated those penalties as part of the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that Trump signed in December.

Yesterday, the Trump administration's Department of Justice dropped a bombshell in a rural Texas federal courthouse.

In court papers, the Justice Department said it doesn't want to stop the law in its tracks, but said they agreed with the plaintiffs who say the most famous parts of the law are now illegal. They must grapple with how to protect the state's insurance market amid a continued assault against the federal health law.

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections" that help guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, a written statement from the group said.

Despite the Justice Department position, the Health and Human Services Department has continued to apply the health law. And the Trump administration has not asserted that the Medicaid expansion made possible by the health care law should be rolled back.

If Democrats don't repeat that sentence a thousand times a day between now and November, they're nuts. "But even if the Justice Department's arguments fail, as they should, the administration's violation of its duty to faithfully execute our nation's laws will still raise the cost of health care for most Americans, undermine the economy, and weaken our democracy for years to come".

The case is Texas v. U.S., 4:18-cv-001 67, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth). He added that lawyers can request to be reassigned from a particular case when they have moral or other "serious qualms" about the government's actions, but they "rarely" seek the court's permission to withdraw.

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