Trump Sides With Texas, Won't Defend Obamacare in Court

Leslie Hanson
June 9, 2018

Removing certain provisions tied to the Affordable Care Act, former U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, could strike out important consumer protections and potentially harm millions of Americans, a trade association that represents U.S. health insurers said on Friday.

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.

The states argue that because Congress recently repealed a provision that people without health insurance must pay a fine, the requirement to have health insurance is unconstitutional because it is no longer considered a tax.

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

"If the Trump administration is successful in arguing against the constitutionality of protecting patients' access to care, it will have immediate and disastrous effect on our health care system and the American people", the lawmakers say.

But it says the rest of the law, including Medicaid expansion, can remain in place.

The major difference is that the justice department, under Donald Trump, has largely switched sides.


The Trump administration is trying out a new tactic to get rid of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare): calling at least one provision of it unconstitutional.

Shortly before the government's court filing, three career lawyers at the Justice Department withdrew from the case and were replaced by two political appointees, according to court filings.

The Democrats further raised concerns that even if the Justice Department's arguments are unsuccessful, the administration's move could still "raise the cost of health care for most Americans, undermine the economy and weaken our democracy for years to come".

While Justice Department attorneys often advocate for laws they may personally disagree with, those three civil servants instead chose to exit from the case, which Bagley described as "almost unheard of".

Insurers, meanwhile, warned that the administration's actions could rock the individual market and could lead to higher premiums, especially for those battling illnesses.

The mandate in Obamacare was meant to ensure a viable health insurance market by forcing younger and healthier Americans to buy coverage.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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