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giftedviz.com August 15, 2018


Fresh legal attack on health law comes with political risks

11 June 2018, 02:50 | Rodolfo Wallace

The Trump Administration Is Using a New Tactic to Dismantle Obamacare. What You Need to Know About It

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

In a court filing late Thursday, the Trump administration is specifically urging the Texas federal court to strike down two provisions from the ACA: one that requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and the other that prevents insurers from charging individuals a higher premium due to their pre-existing condition.

Reyes said Friday that "the individual mandate can not be severed" from the parts of the Affordable Care Act that prohibit insurers from increasing a person's premium rates or denying them coverage based on their health history.

The Justice Department rarely declines to argue in favor of existing law in court, and this decision will put pressure on the Affordable Care Act, which was President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement. The repeal takes effect next year. "Their job is to defend federal programs", Bagley says, noting that he has not talked with any of them about the case. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, joined by 16 other attorneys general, said in April he would "vigorously" defend the ACA.

But Congress repealed the tax penalty for people without insurance previous year, and the individual mandate can no longer be described as a tax when the repeal takes effect in January, the brief says.

The nation's top insurers' lobby said Friday the administration's position is untenable and could destabilize the markets as insurers develop their offerings for next year. "It's not uncommon to make this kind of switch", a department spokesperson said Thursday night.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...as recently amended, forces an unconstitutional and irrational regime onto the States and their citizens. "Instead, it exacerbates our current challenges and creates further uncertainty that could ultimately result in higher costs for millions of Americans and undermine essential protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes", Collins said.

Sixteen states have intervened in the case to support the law.

Health care is already a dominant issue in this year's elections, with voters regularly citing it as a leading determinant for how they will vote.

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Stacy Stanford, policy analyst for the Utah Health Policy Project, a think tank and advocacy organization that is also a federal health exchange enrollment hub, said "the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and therefore the administration should be defending it". It is certainly clear that in zeroing out the individual mandate penalty in 2017, Congress did not mean to bar people with preexisting conditions from insurance.

The Justice Department legal position nevertheless signals a remarkable willingness by the Trump administration to abandon landmark consumer protections in the health care law that for the first time prohibit health insurers from turning away sick consumers.

While they provide major protections to those with pre-existing conditions, they also have pushed up premiums for those who are young and healthy.

"Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019", said Matt Eyles, the president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurers. For starters, it's pretty rare for the DOJ (under any party's control) to come out against an existing USA law since it's generally in the business of trying to defend the law's constitutionality.

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. United States. Obama's last CMS administrator Andy Slavitt tweeted the following false claim: "The Trump DOJ tonight just told the courts to dismantle pre-existing conditions protections and other consumer protections". Prior to the ACA, they often found it cost-prohibitive if not impossible to obtain health insurance because private companies didn't want to take on the additional costs of people with known health problems.

President Donald Trump's legal team has made a move that could kill a key part of the Affordable Care Act, disrupt the individual major medical market in 2019, and leave most of the ACA intact.

Equally notable, three career prosecutors in the department withdrew from the case just before the administration announced the decision not to defend the health care law.

Recent polling indicates that this could be a political victor for Democrats attempting to recapture at least one chamber of Congress. Judge Reed O'Connor was named to the court by President George W. Bush and has ruled against other aspects of the Affordable Care Act.



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