An obscure district court lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act became a potent threat to one of the law's most popular provisions late Thursday, when the Justice Department filed a brief arguing that as of January 1, 2019, the protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be invalidated. 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.
But the administration disagrees with that position.
She cited a report from health care think tank Kaiser Family Foundation that estimates more than 52 million Americans have pre-existing health problems that would "likely leave them uninsurable" if it weren't for the Affordable Care Act's regulations.
Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion in NFIB v. Sebelius, rejected the Obama administration's claim that Congress could impose the individual mandate pursuant to the Constitution's Commerce Clause.
"If the Justice Department can just throw in the towel whenever a law is challenged in court, it can effectively pick and choose which laws should remain on the books", wrote Bagley.
The Department of Justice said it agrees with Texas that the so-called individual mandate will be unconstitutional without the fine. That would include such popular items as the guarantee that young people can stay on their family's health insurance plans until age 26, subsidies to help poorer people to afford health insurance, the existing state-level health insurance marketplaces ("exchanges"), the expansion of the Medicaid health insurance program for poor people, and a mandate that larger employers provided minimum levels of health insurance coverage for their workers.
Weighing in on a Texas challenge to the health law, the Justice Department argued that legally and practically the popular consumer protections can not be separated from the unpopular insurance mandate, which Congress has repealed, effective next year. The lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, contends that without an individual mandate, the entirety of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional.
Congress, Trump eye new agency to invest overseas Good economic vibes fail to make GOP tax law popular MORE (Mass.), the top three Democrats on the House's health-care committees.
Timothy Jost, law professor emeritus at Washington and Lee University in Virginia said the Trump administration is trying to persuade the court to do what it was unable to achieve in Congress previous year - essentially, repeal key parts of the Obama health law.
"Both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are using the people as political pawns".
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY urged President Donald Trump to reverse the decision. In the legal filing, the Department of Justice argues in favor of invalidating protections for those Americans with pre-existing conditions. The individual mandate required most Americans to maintain minimum insurance or to pay a tax penalty.
Attempts to repeal it in Congress have failed, but opponents of the law have also filed scores of lawsuits challenging various provisions.
Texas and the accompanying states have asked for a preliminary injunction that could suspend the entire law while the case plays out in court. Under another provision, the community rating provision, insurers were not allowed to set premiums based on a person's health history.
The same report estimates 391,000 Utahns have pre-existing conditions that could affect their coverage eligibility. "It's being mugged", King said in a twitter statement on Friday. In the new suit, California is leading a group of Democrat-led states in defending the law.
And Tim Hogan, a spokesman for Health Care Voters, a Democratic group looking to mobilize voters on the health care issue, called the decision a "blatant sabotage of the Affordable Care Act" and "something Republican members of Congress will have to explain to their constituents". United States is an unprecedented dereliction of duty by the Department of Justice (DOJ). 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.
Those with pre-existing conditions should continue being guaranteed coverage at affordable rates, said Orange County Legislator James O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's 18th District seat.
The Texas case will be decided first by O'Connor, a conservative appointee of President George W. Bush.