The Trump administration says Obamacare is unconstitutional: What it means to you

The Trump administration says Obamacare is unconstitutional: What it means to you

The Trump administration says Obamacare is unconstitutional: What it means to you

The Justice Department's decision not to defend parts of the Affordable Care Act is one of a number of shifts the department has taken to distance itself from the previous administration. The Supreme Court's 2012 ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act called the individual mandate penalty a tax - and therefore legal. But it did say Thursday that because the individual mandate is unconstitutional, so is another, more popular part of the law: protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

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".

More than one in four adults under the age of 65 have existing medical conditions, according to Kaiser Family Foundation.

Some 70 percent of folks said the federal government should continue prohibiting insurers from charging more to those with pre-existing conditions, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll from June 2017.

The ACA now requires insurance companies to offer coverage to everyone regardless of their medical history.

Though Republicans loathe the 2010 law, many of them have pushed for market-oriented solutions that allow sicker Americans to obtain insurance without facing sky-high prices.

In Lexington, congressional hopeful Amy McGrath has attacked incumbent Republican Andy Barr for "enthusiastically" voting to strip healthcare coverage from more than a quarter-million Kentuckians - "many of the same kind of people", she said in a campaign video, that her mother, a polio survivor, treated as a doctor.

So they have an absurd legal theory in this case, no policy theory of how what they're doing will actually make things better, and no political theory about how this will help them.

"Texans have known all along that Obamacare is unlawful and a divided Supreme Court's approval rested exclusively on the flimsy support of Congress's authority to tax", said Paxton when the suit was filed. The move could upend insurance markets for next year and change the dynamic of this fall's elections. The lawsuit injects more uncertainty into what is already an uncertain environment for insurers.


But Marty Lederman, who worked in the Obama Justice Department and now teaches at Georgetown Law School, says the move was unprecedented. "It's a cornerstone of what they do", he says. Until the Trump Administration (which is the target of the lawsuit) filed its views on Thursday, the case had been building without either side knowing what the government position would be.

The Washington Post reported that three career Justice attorneys involved in the case - Joel McElvain, Eric Beckenhauer and Rebecca Kopplin - withdrew before the filing at 6 p.m. Thursday, an unusual time for such an action. They're civil servants. They're good soldiers.

"This lawsuit is less about altering the law and more about blowing it up", Levitt said. "They believed they could not in good conscience, consistent with their professional obligations, sign the brief". There are about 21 million people who do so, buying either through insurance brokers or from a state or federal Affordable Care Act marketplace. "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", Matt Eyles, AHIP's president and CEO, said Friday in a statement.

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. "I'm astounded, and it's not only recklessness on lots of scores in terms of the legal reasoning", said Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va.

"We need to take care of the people", she said over coffee in Nampa, a Boise suburb she has represented in the state House for the last eight years.

"I didn't vote for the health care bill", he said.

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.

"You've got very sympathetic populations that are affected by those conditions so to somehow adversely affect them is not a politically wise move", said Representative Tom Reed, a New York Republican, signaling opposition to the administration's decision.

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