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

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

Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo, the state's top health insurance regulator, wrote in a Crain's op-ed last month that she would not let the uncertainty stemming from the Trump administration's actions on the ACA lead to an increase in premiums. And the Trump administration has not asserted that the Medicaid expansion made possible by the health care law should be rolled back.

"Justice Department attorneys don't withdraw from cases simply because the government is making an argument the lawyers think the courts should or would reject", he said.

The Department in the past has declined to defend a statute in cases in which the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional and made manifest that it should not be defended, as is the case here.See Seth P. Waxman, Defending Congress, 79 N.C. L.Rev. 1073, 1083 (2001).

The administration's legal stance injects profound uncertainty into the political debate and the health-care landscape at a critical moment, just as insurance companies are developing rates for the coming year and as candidates head into a summer campaign season that both parties will try to use to solidify a foothold for their agendas.

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.

"There's some hope that they will prevail", Stanford said.

Rep. Leonard Lance, New Jersey Republican, said he wasn't up to speed on the new case but he's hopes it will not force Congress to scramble for fixes.

Supreme Court ruled that opponents of the ACA individual coverage mandate could not win a preliminary injunction blocking the mandate, because the ACA individual mandate was a tax, and a federal law prohibits parties from seeking preliminary injunctions to block new federal taxes. "No matter what Washington spin Bob Casey puts on it, the fact remains access to care got worse and costs skyrocketed early in the Obama Administration due to the disastrous law Casey supported".

The administration called on the court to declare the provisions that guarantee coverage to be invalid beginning on January 1, 2019, when the mandate penalty goes away. This policy change would jeopardize coverage not just for consumers in the individual market, but also people with preexisting conditions who have employer-sponsored coverage.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed it's "because otherwise individuals could wait until they become sick to purchase insurance, thus driving up premiums for everyone else".

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Pelosi and other supporters of the ACA were quick to condemn the move.

Nevertheless, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, criticized the Trump administration in a statement. So the pre-existing condition protections are likely to stay in place during that period. There is reason to believe the judge may accept the Trump administration's arguments.

"The Trump administration once again is allowing premiums to go up and middle class Americans to pay more", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a tweet.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, the Democratic front-runner in the race for California's next governor, breathed the same fire as Becerra against the federal government on Friday.

Three attorneys for the government withdrew from the case just minutes before the Justice Department's filing in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, which signaled an internal rift within the administration over its role in defending USA law, according to University of Michigan Law Professor Nicholas Bagley.

Mark Showalter, chairman of the Department of Economics at BYU, contended that although protections for people with pre-existing conditions is a well-liked part of the law and the individual mandate penalty was considered deeply unpopular, the provisions are two sides of the same coin.

More than one in four adults under the age of 65 have existing medical conditions, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. There are about 21 million people who do so, buying either through insurance brokers or from a state or federal Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Defenders of Obamacare blasted DOJ's move. States such as California will take up the law's defense, and the legal battle will continue.

The Trump administration told a federal court Thursday it won't defend Obamacare against a lawsuit that's trying to strike down most of the law. Now that Congress has chose to zero out the penalty, as Republicans did previous year as part of the 2017 tax cut, the pre-existing conditions have to go, too.

The president last fall ended "cost-sharing reduction payments" to insurers that offset discounts that the law promises to lower-income customers in the out-of-pocket costs for ACA health plans. It is asking a court to throw out major elements, including hugely popular provisions that protect sick people from being denied health insurance or charged higher rates. "The White House needs to hear that the American people will not stand for this", Murphy said.

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