Trump administration won't defend key parts of Affordable Care Act

Adjust Comment Print

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.

A Trump administration decision not to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act in a lawsuit seeking to dismantle it could cause chaos and deprive Americans of coverage, local politicians, providers and insurers said on Friday.

"In particular, this decision could lead to insurers denying coverage to the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions".

"The more uncertainty there is, the more the actuaries are going to be plugging into their projections for premium rates", says Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., to establish a single-payer health-care system, suggesting that would become the Democrats' agenda if they were to regain power.

"So many families from every political persuasion will lose the ability to find and purchase coverage because they have a pre-existing condition", Wood said. That ruling hinged on the reasoning that, while the government "does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance", as Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority, it "does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance". We also agree that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) provisions affecting Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D should remain law. The administration instead called on federal courts to scuttle the health law's protection for people with preexisting medical conditions and its requirement that people buy health coverage. Texas wants the provision of the ACA requiring individuals to have health insurance declared 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.

"It's just one more part of the story of trying to politicize the Justice Department", said Jost, a supporter of the health law.

"There is no doubt that Republicans are responsible for the rising cost of healthcare premiums and the high likelihood that many will no longer be able to afford basic care at all, and they will face serious blowback in the midterms", the House Democrats' campaign operation said in a statement.

"Initial filings for 2019 plans have shown that, while rates are higher due to the zeroing out of the individual mandate penalty, the market is more steady for most consumers than in previous years, with insurance providers stepping in to serve more consumers in more states", says Grow. But the court will take notice that the Trump administration has switched sides.

Afghan Taliban call for ceasefire during Eid
The militants said foreign forces would be excluded from the ceasefire and that operations against them would continue. He added that eight Taliban attackers were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded during the gun battle.

NYC pizza delivery man given emergency stay after immigration detention
The Legal Aid Society was able to obtain the temporary stay for Villavicencio after a hearing in Manhattan court Saturday. His wife Sandra Chica, who is a US citizen, says Villavicencio now has an open green card application.

Abadi: Commission Finds Unprecedented Violations in Iraq Elections
Iraqi security officials say the toll from explosions that tore through a mosque in Baghdad has climbed to 16 dead and 35 wounded. The Iraqi parliament on Wednesday voted for a manual recount of nationwide elections held last month.

As many as 130 million adults under age 65 in the US have pre-existing conditions that could result in their not being able to get insurance coverage in the private market, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Attempts to repeal it in Congress have failed, but opponents of the law have also filed scores of lawsuits challenging various provisions.

Three provisions of the Affordable Care Act are unconstitutional and therefore not defensible in court, the Justice Department said. Under another provision, the community rating provision, insurers were not allowed to set premiums based on a person's health history.

"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. "It's being mugged", King said in a twitter statement on Friday.

In May, the court allowed more than a dozen state attorneys general, all Democrats, to "intervene" in the case and defend the law.

But Justice Department lawyers do argue that with no penalty for not having coverage, the federal government can not make health insurers cover sick consumers or prohibit insurers from charging sick consumers higher premiums, as was routinely done before the health care law was implemented.

Reyes said that the Department of Justice's decision "strengthens our case, and we look forward to seeing if the district judge agrees".

Texas said that without the fine in place the requirement to have health insurance is unconstitutional and the entire law should be struck down as a result. In 2012, the Supreme Court held that the insurance mandate was unconstitutional as a nationwide mandate.

The Texas case will be decided first by O'Connor, a conservative appointee of President George W. Bush.

Comments