NY braces itself against Justice Department's assertion it won't defend ACA


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.

In its brief, also filed on June 7, the Justice Department abandoned its customary role of defending laws passed by Congress and took the side of Texas, agreeing that the mandate is now unconstitutional.

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

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.

This claim is based on two features of the law's text: It contains no severability clause - standard language to the effect that the statute would remain valid even if one or more of its provisions proved to be in violation of existing law - and its explicit assertion that the ACA can not function without the individual mandate.

California and 15 other states have intervened in the lawsuit, and Stanford said she has some optimism they will be able to successfully argue for pre-existing condition protections, even as the Department of Justice relinquishes that effort.

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The filing declares unconstitutional the so-called individual mandate-which requires nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a "tax" if they don't-and calls for several elements of ACA to be invalidated.

Margaret Murray, the chief executive of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans, which represents plans for low-income and vulnerable populations, said that anyone who has bought individual insurance "and has had so much as a case of asthma in their past should be deeply unsettled by the choices this administration has made". In their suit, lodged in February in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, they argue that the entire law is now invalid.

Expansions to Medicaid that occurred in individual states prior to the Affordable Care Act were excluded from the review analysis.

This also extends to two major provisions of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, including one that protects people with preexisting conditions from being denied coverage. "No matter what Washington spin Bob Casey puts on it, the fact remains access to care got worse and costs skyrocketed early in the Obama Administration due to the disastrous law Casey supported".

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. Congress, Trump eye new agency to invest overseas Good economic vibes fail to make GOP tax law popular MORE (Mass.), the top three Democrats on the House's health-care committees.

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.

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The news rallied defenders of the law into action and raised questions among legal scholars about the likelihood it would succeed.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who voted against the Republican repeal bills in the Senate past year, also expressed concern about the administration's new push, saying it "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, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes". Many of those provision can continue to work to help achieve the overall goal of the ACA, to assure that more Americans have health insurance, the filing asserted. Now, of course, as I mentioned, the attorneys general say that the entire rest of the law is unconstitutional without that penalty for not having insurance. President Trump has said he wants a repeal and replacement of the law.

Many health care experts disagree with that position. They routinely defend policies they dislike and make arguments they personally disagree with.

Regardless of the federal court's ruling-which observers said may come by late summer or early fall-New York state law now protects consumers from such actions by insurers.

Just hours before the Justice Department officially withdrew from the case, three of the staff attorneys who had been working on it withdrew.

If Democrats don't repeat that sentence a thousand times a day between now and November, they're nuts. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor is presiding.

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