Sunday, 21 October, 2018

DOJ Argues Parts Of Obamacare Are Unconstitutional After Mandate Repeal

Trump justice department will stop defending key parts of Obamacare DOJ Argues Parts Of Obamacare Are Unconstitutional After Mandate Repeal
Gustavo Carr | 10 June, 2018, 17:57

At issue is a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican state attorneys general on February 26, which charged that Congress' changes to the law in last year's tax bill rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional.

The Trump administration delivered an early midterms present to Democrats Thursday night when the Justice Department chose to side with 20 GOP states in a lawsuit seeking to gut the core protections of the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Justice Department argued the judge should strike down the section of the law that protects people buying insurance from being charged higher premiums due to their health history.

According to the AP, the administration said it agrees that the law's individual mandate is unconstitutional without the fine and that language protecting those with medical conditions from being denied coverage or charged higher premiums should also be struck down.

Some experts have said that regardless of how the case is decided, insurers could raise premiums for next year due to the uncertainty the case is causing, a point echoed by the Democrats.

It's a notable stance that means it will be up to Obamacare fans such as Democratic governors to step in and defend the Affordable Care Act against on onslaught from GOP attorneys general, who say after Congress nixed the individual mandate at the heart of the law, the rest of it should follow.

"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.

Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress have sought to dismantle Obamacare, which sought to expand insurance coverage to more Americans.

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President Trump has long declared the ACA, also known as Obamacare, to be a "disaster", and the brief filed Thursday night is the latest attempt by his administration to weaken former president Barack Obama's signature health-care law.

These consumer protections proved enormously popular with Americans and are among the reasons why efforts to repeal Obamacare in Congress failed previous year. "Once again, Republicans are trying to destroy protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions".

America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade group, bemoaned the Justice Department's stance, saying it could upset a market that is becoming "more steady" for most consumers.

The takeaway for consumers: This shouldn't deter people from seeking health insurance.

Shortly before the government's court filing Thursday, three career lawyers at the Justice Department withdrew from the case and were replaced by two political appointees, according to court filings. "The brief filed by the Trump Administration yesterday represents a shocking break from precedent, and relies on legally dubious, partisan claims to argue against the constitutionality of the current law", they said in a joint statement.

The Post reports that the three-page letter to Pelosi from Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that the DOJ adopted its position "with the approval of the President of the United States".

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