Congress Couldn't Kill Obamacare. But Trump Is Still Trying

MIAMI FL- FEBRUARY 05 Ariel Fernandez sits with Noel Nogues an insurance advisor with Uni Vista Insurance company as he signs up for the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare before the February 15th deadline

MIAMI FL- FEBRUARY 05 Ariel Fernandez sits with Noel Nogues an insurance advisor with Uni Vista Insurance company as he signs up for the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare before the February 15th deadline

The Trump administration has elected not to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act against a sweeping legal challenge filed by a group of conservative states, marking an unusual departure from the Justice Department's traditional responsibility to safeguard federal law.

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 years tax bill rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional.

"The individual mandate thus still exists", the filing said, but with the associated financial penalty gone, "it will no longer be fairly possible to describe it as a tax because it will no longer generate any revenue".

If there is no tax penalty for not buying insurance now, then no taxation is taking place, so the other parts of the law tied to the individual mandate must go, the 20 GOP attorneys general argue. In 2012, the Supreme Court held that the insurance mandate was unconstitutional as a nationwide mandate. Insurers were not allowed to raise costs for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

The administration called on the court to declare that the provisions that guarantee coverage will be "invalid beginning on January 1, 2019", when the mandate penalty goes away.

The AG concluded his statement by referencing other legal contentions against the ACA and determined that it is unconstitutional to enforce essential health benefit protections because this provision of the ACA is inserverable from the indiviudal mandate.

Rep. Tom MacArthur, New Jersey Republican, included a provision in the House bill that would have required insurers to cover sicker Americans but allowed states to waive the prohibition on charging them higher premiums.

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.

More news: Tyson Fury Kisses His Opponent On Return To The Ring
More news: How to have tough conversations about mental health
More news: Lyon say Nabil Fekir transfer negotiations with Liverpool have ended

The case is Texas v. U.S., 4:18-cv-001 67, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth).

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". One of their replacements is Brett Shumate, described by the Times as "a Trump administration political appointee in the civil division of the Justice Department who has played a leading role in defending the White House in a range of lawsuits". Experts believe that could entice healthier people to exit the marketplace in favor of less-expensive, short-term plans, leaving the marketplace with a sicker population that could drive insurance costs higher. "So now that Congress has removed the penalty part from that mandate, they're arguing that the structure simply can not work anymore". Second, the administration argues that because the individual mandate is unconstitutional, other key provisions of the law should be struck down on the ground that they can't be severed, or removed, from the unconstitutional mandate.

The second is the community rating provision. Health insurers are now deciding whether to sell coverage in the individual market in 2019 - and what they're going to charge.

SIMON: We've been getting reports from all over the country about how health care premiums are going up. This is the Trump Administration's latest and most unsafe step yet to repeal and sabotage our care.

Texas and the accompanying states have asked for a preliminary injunction that could suspend the entire law while the case plays out in court.

America's Health Insurance Plans said Friday that it plans to file a brief opposing the plaintiffs' request for emergency relief that would provides detail about the harm that would come to millions of Americans should their request to invalidate the ACA is granted either in whole or in part.

Analysts at Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service have said that large health insurers' remaining individual major medical operations look stable right now, but that uncertainty about ACA rules and subsidies could cause problems in the future.

But Bagley noted that the Trump administration "loathes the ACA" and the Obama administration's refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defined marriage between a man and a woman back in 2011, sets precedent.

Recommended News

  • With Tony for 'The Band's Visit,' Ari'el Stachel Embraces His Roots

    With Tony for 'The Band's Visit,' Ari'el Stachel Embraces His Roots

    Onstage guests were volunteers and staffers from three organizations that bring relief to areas impacted by natural disasters. She said she was happy to be in a production that "celebrates diversity and individuality".
    Pep Guardiola: I will never coach Barcelona again

    Pep Guardiola: I will never coach Barcelona again

    In Barca, some have also asked the question. "We were together two years and it is only now when he says it. Maybe we Africans are not always treated by some in the same way as others.
    BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

    BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down

    Premier League soccer TV rights and the acquisition of British wireless venture EE from Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA. At the height of Patterson's tenure, BT stock reached a 15-year peak shortly after his record bet on U.K.
  • Microsoft Reveals Gears of War 5 And Two Side Games

    Microsoft Reveals Gears of War 5 And Two Side Games

    Gears Tactics is now in pre-alpha and looks like a Gears of War take on the turn-based strategy gameplay of the recent XCOM games. Yes, the highly popular and collectible Funko Pop toy franchise is branching out into games.

    Long-Awaited Kingdom Hearts III Release Date Finally Announced

    Confirmed worlds include Big Hero 6 , Toy Story , Tangled , Monsters, Inc ., and the returning Olympus Coliseum world. Nomura said regarding the release date, "I'm sorry that we're asking for a little more time than initially planned".
    Oil prices fall on dip in China demand, surging United States  output

    Oil prices fall on dip in China demand, surging United States output

    When the United States announced it would reimpose sanctions on Iran in November, Ice Brent futures rose by $2.36/bl on the day. That compared with 9.6 million bpd in April. "We always have conversations with the USA about the stability of the oil market".
  • U.S.  has recalled two diplomats from Cuba because of the

    U.S. has recalled two diplomats from Cuba because of the "mysterious injuries"

    China earlier said it had looked into the case announced last month but came up with no clues about the cause of the symptoms. A security person walks outside the US consulate building in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7.
    Vince Vaughn Arrested For DUI

    Vince Vaughn Arrested For DUI

    Vince Vaughn arrives at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, Calif. The arrest occurred early Sunday morning in Manhattan Beach, California, about 30 minutes south of Los Angeles .
    Ex-Senate aide appears in federal court after indictment

    Ex-Senate aide appears in federal court after indictment

    According to the indictment, Wolfe lied about having had contact with the reporters between December 2015 and December 2017. Mark Coulson granted Wolfe's release, but with several conditions, at courthouse in downtown Baltimore on Friday afternoon.
  • Meghan and Harry to tour Australia and New Zealand

    Meghan and Harry to tour Australia and New Zealand

    Royal fans were full of admiration for Sarah and Andrew's close relationship, and took to the comments section to have their say. She and Harry arrived at Buckingham Palace in the back of a vehicle before switching to their carriage for the big occasion.
    'Just incredible' as Nadal wins 11th French Open despite late injury scare

    'Just incredible' as Nadal wins 11th French Open despite late injury scare

    He also let four match points go at 5-2 but he would not be denied as Thiem went long with a backhand on the fifth. Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem.
    Verizon CEO McAdam retiring, Vestberg named successor

    Verizon CEO McAdam retiring, Vestberg named successor

    Its Oath subsidiary reaches about one billion people around the world with a dynamic house of media and technology brands. McAdam is retiring this year, and once he does retire, he will transition into the non-executive chairman of the company.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.