Trump Administration Moves To Further Hobble Affordable Care Act

Trump Administration Moves To Further Hobble Affordable Care Act

Trump Administration Moves To Further Hobble Affordable Care Act

In a brief filed in a federal court in Texas, the department said a tax law signed a year ago by President Donald Trump that eliminated penalties for not having health insurance rendered the so-called individual mandate under Obamacare unconstitutional. However, Roberts held that the mandate was nonetheless constitutional because its penalty was in effecta tax. Especially for those who did not have any coverage through an employer.

Republicans in Congress have tried endlessly to the repeal the Affordable Care Act since it was signed into law in 2010 by President Barack Obama.

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.

The Trump administration's decision not to defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act could deal Democrats a sizable win going into the midterm elections, handing a party already prepared to run on health care a cudgel to use against vulnerable Republicans. The states argue that after Congress eliminated the penalty for the individual mandate past year, effective in 2019, it destabilized other sections of the law.

The Trump administration argues that because the new tax law eliminates the penalty for not buying insurance, the Supreme Court's previous ruling permitting the mandate as a tax no longer applies. Without the tax, Texas' says, the rest of the law falls.

The Trump administration Thursday did not go that far.

But Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, said it's not unprecedented for the Justice Department to refuse to defend a law it views as unconstitutional, so he doesn't see their decision as problematic. It is asking a court to throw out major elements, including hugely popular provisions that protect sick people from being denied health insurance or charged higher rates.

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Epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, lupus, sleep apnea, and pregnancy are all examples of pre-existing conditions. "At the worst it could strip away guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions". Even when insurers offered policies to those with health problems, they often excluded those illnesses. Of course, not all of them buy coverage on their own.

What it means: If successful, the states' lawsuit would allow insurers to charge much higher rates to people with pre-existing conditions, or deny them coverage altogether, effectively ending the ACA's promise of providing health care for all Americans.

Texas said that without the fine in place the requirement to have health insurance is unconstitutional and the entire law should be struck down as a result. What about next year? Ultimately, the issue could be decided by the Supreme Court.

Mental disorders, including depression and anxiety, are also considered pre-existing conditions. These marketplaces have had their troubles - with many commercial insurers defecting and prices spiking - but their basic contours have remained intact. They are at this moment submitting their rates for the individual market for 2019. Without restricting premiums most individuals may choose to go without.

But others say the legal brief may have minimal impact next year on premiums.

So why then, as Gizmodo reports, is Trump's Department of Justice now arguing in court that the ACA's pre-existing condition provisions are unconstitutional? If the court ends up siding with the Trump administration and the Republican states that brought the suit, the consequences would be significant, Perlman said.

Both of these types of policies are expected to have lower premiums, but would cover fewer benefits - making them more attractive to healthier Americans who don't need comprehensive coverage. Most of these individuals may only have access to State funded programs. In it, the states deem the entirety of Obamacare and its regulations invalid.

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Other legal observers point out that's not how the lawmaking process works.

"I am at a loss for words to explain how big of a deal this is", said University of MI law professor Nicholas Bagley in a blog post. The 2012 SCOTUS ruling precludes any claim that Congress had the authority to impose the mandate pursuant to its powers under the Commerce Clause. "Congress made that choice".

AHIP said it will file an amicus brief in support of the law that "provides more detail about the harm that would come to millions of Americans if the request to invalidate the ACA is granted in whole or in part".

Stanford said removing the restrictions on pre-existing conditions would take Americans back when "insurance companies could pore through your medical records and anything you mentioned to your doctor was fair game".

Republicans on Capitol Hill had no advance warning that the administration was going to assert that protections for people with preexisting conditions is unconstitutional - a position that defies President Donald Trump's promises to maintain those protections.

The guarantees for coverage for people with pre-existing conditions are among those most valued by the public. In addition, this will create even more uncertainty in a challenging healthcare market. Under normal circumstances, the federal government would defend the law.

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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. "That's as flagrant a violation of the President's constitutional duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed as you can imagine".

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