Trump admin: We won't defend Obamacare

11 June, 2018, 14:46 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Trump administration said in a court filing late Thursday that it will no longer defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act including the

The Department of Justice said Thursday that it will not defend the constitutionality of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a lawsuit now underway in Texas. New York City residents still have seven options.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes says a decision by the Department of Justice not to defend pivotal parts of the Affordable Care Act in court will strengthen the state's recently submitted lawsuit, filed with 19 other states, that argues the entire law should be struck down as unconstitutional. The Trump administration agrees with assessment of the individual mandate also mentioning that the guaranteed issuance of coverage and community rating provisions are tied to the individual mandate and are not severable requiring those provisions to be voided, but the rest of the ACA is severable.

On Thursday, the Trump administration clearly outlined their position on key - and popular - provisions in the Affordable Care Act, telling a court that the law should be invalidated and that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a Thursday letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, said while the administration has traditionally defended the constitutionality of such provisions, he has decided "this is a rare care where the proper course is to forgo defense". In the meantime, the existing law will likely remain. Moreover, even a strong majority of Republicans - even those spooked by the word Obamacare - want to see protections for people with pre-existing conditions kept in place.

He said to "roll back the clock" would be "irresponsible and risky".

O'Connor issued an order on May 16 that grants California and other states that support the ACA official intervenor status. The motion to intervene was granted last month.

"This is disgusting but not surprising". It requires insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions - charge them the same rates as everybody else?

"We can't go back to the times when pregnant women, folks with a disability and people with cancer were denied the care they needed", Maloney said in an email.

"The entire point of insurance is that it should be there when you need it".

Bagley said, "That's nearly unheard of".

According to healthcare.gov, a pre-existing condition is a health problem a person has before enrolling in a new health care plan.

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But it's not clear exactly how many Americans have pre-existing conditions and could be affected.

In a blistering statement, the American Psychiatric Association is calling on the administration to reverse its decision.

The Justice Department is tasked with defending federal statutes.

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.

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.

The filing declares unconstitutional the so-called individual mandate-which requires nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a "tax" if they don't-and calls for several elements of ACA to be invalidated.

These consumer protections proved enormously popular with Americans and are among the reasons why efforts to repeal Obamacare in Congress failed a year ago.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) delivers remarks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 21, 2018. Julie, thanks so much for being with us.

"This announcement from the Administration does nothing to ameliorate the current system's instability or foster cooperation toward a solution to lower premiums and increase choices for consumers".

While they provide major protections to those with pre-existing conditions, they also have pushed up premiums for those who are young and healthy. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll also found that health care is voters' top issue. O'Connor was appointed by George W. Bush and recently ruled that health care providers can not be forced to perform procedures that conflict with their religious beliefs. "Unfortunately, today the situation is far worse", Schumer wrote.

"Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019", said Matt Eyles, the president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurers. But take a moment to marvel at the position the administration has taken: They think insurance companies should once again be able to deny you coverage or charge you outrageous premiums because you have a pre-existing condition.

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