Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Justice Department takes aim at heart of health law

'You've handed us an issue:' Democrats pounce on Trump administration's health care move Fresh legal attack on health law comes with political risks
Anna Jefferson | 11 June, 2018, 10:25

On Thursday, the US Justice Department proclaimed that the part of the Affordable Care Act requiring people to have health insurance was unconstitutional.

"I have always favored coverage for preexisting conditions and will continue to do so", Lance said, adding he would urge the administration to back off their new legal stance.

What are the ramifications of the Trump administration making these arguments? For instance, in 2012 the Obama Justice Department said it would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which legally defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman for federal purposes.

In a brief filed Thursday in federal district court in Texas, the department argues that the individual mandate, as well as the community rating and guaranteed issue provisions of the law, are all unconstitutional and need not be defended in a case now pending before the court.

About 1.5 million Californians buy coverage through the state's ACA exchange, Covered California, and almost 4 million have joined Medicaid as a result of the program's expansion under the law.

In parting company with the challenging states on their demand that all of the ACA be nullified, the Administration document said it was hypothetical speculation whether the entire program would collapse without the individual mandate and the related insurance coverage requirements. Allowing the Democratic officials to join the suit "allows us to protect the health and well-being of these Americans by defending affordable access to health care".

"I'm running for Congress because a year ago, during the lead up to my son's birth, our doctor told my wife and I that our son may not survive or have a serious health condition for the rest of his life", Kim said Friday. No one in CT - or anywhere - should have to fear that they or their loved ones will be kicked to the curb and refused care when they need it most.

Bagley said, "That's nearly unheard of".

Several Republicans said Friday that if the administration did prevail, it would be their responsibility to step in and restore protections for people with preexisting conditions.

Mental disorders, including depression and anxiety, are also considered pre-existing conditions. Before the ACA passed, insurers commonly refused coverage for people with cancer, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis and even less serious conditions. This is harmful to the health of these Americans and is very short-sighted considering the nation is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and 30% rise in suicide rates.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 16 million Americans suffer from depression each year.

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What they did: The Department of Justice filed a brief Thursday in support of the suit, saying "this Court should hold that the ACA's individual mandate will be unconstitutional as of January 1, 2019", and that some other provisions of the law - including those protecting people with pre-existing conditions being denied coverage or charged higher premiums - are inseparable from the mandate and therefore should be declared unconstitutional as well. HHS and Treasury administer the health law's coverage and subsidies.

But some moderate Republicans, including Sens.

Republican leaders have tried to overturn the ACA through legislative efforts but have come up short.

Collins slammed the administration's decision in a statement provided to ABC News.

Back when Republicans were trying to come up with a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they quickly realized that while most Americans had only a vague sense of what was in the law, there were parts of it that were extraordinarily popular.

"This announcement from the Administration does nothing to ameliorate the current system's instability or foster cooperation toward a solution to lower premiums and increase choices for consumers".

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections", the group said.

This is a huge deal... the administration's behavior sets a risky precedent about the obligation of this and future presidents to follow their constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws enacted by Congress....

Donald B. Verrilli Jr., a solicitor general in the Obama administration, said there were obviously reasonable arguments that could be made in defense of the Affordable Care Act in the Texas case, pointing to those in a brief filed Thursday by California and 15 other states. "Unfortunately, today the situation is far worse", Schumer wrote.

If the clause is removed, 52 million Americans can be placed in jeopardy of losing their health care.

"This is yet another malicious Republican attack that will undermine the stability of our healthcare system, and could once again mean that you or a loved one are denied healthcare because of a pre-existing condition", said Meredith Kelly, the communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

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