Media Outlets Agree: GOP’s ACA Sabotage Reaches New Low
The Trump Administration proved once again it will stop at nothing to destroy the health coverage of Americans with pre-existing conditions.
This time, the Department of Justice is refusing to defend the Affordable Care Act’s popular provisions preventing insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for pre-existing conditions – destroying life-saving protections for millions of families.
If Republicans get their way, pregnant women and people with asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes or other pre-existing conditions will be dragged back to the dark days of astronomical costs and worse coverage.
Here’s how the GOP’s cruel and spiteful ACA sabotage is being reported in the news:
In its latest effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act — and in the process, raise premiums for many Americans — the Trump administration is urging a federal judge in Texas to throw out the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions.
In other words, the administration wants insurers to be able to deny coverage to the people most in need of it, or to charge them considerably higher premiums than they’re allowed to charge today.
This is jaw-dropping. Even Republicans who’ve complained about Obamacare have been loath to undo the protections for people with preexisting conditions who are not covered by large employers’ health plans. That’s because the public supports them, and unequivocally so.
The Trump administration told a federal court on Thursday that it would no longer defend crucial provisions of the Affordable Care Act that protect consumers with pre-existing medical conditions.
Under those provisions of the law, insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge higher rates to people with pre-existing conditions.
The Justice Department said that the protections for people with pre-existing conditions were inseparable from the individual mandate and must also be struck down.
The Trump administration said in a court filing late Thursday that it will no longer defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement that people have health insurance and provisions that guarantee access to health insurance regardless of any medical conditions.
The decision, announced in a filing in a federal court in Texas, is a rare departure from the Justice Department’s practice of defending federal laws in court.
The Trump administration won’t defend central provisions of the Affordable Care Act, saying in a legal filing Thursday night that key parts of the Affordable Care Act should be invalidated and that the individual mandate is unconstitutional … The provisions DOJ says should be invalidated are central to the ACA and would gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
These two provisions, which have proved extremely popular with Americans, forced major changes to the health insurance industry.
The Trump administration delivered an early midterms present to Democrats Thursday night when the Justice Department decided to side with 20 GOP states in a lawsuit seeking to gut the core protections of the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing conditions.
The long-shot lawsuit argues that because Republicans repealed the ACA’s individual mandate penalty as part of their tax overhaul, all of the remaining law is unconstitutional. The Justice Department, in backing the state’s argument, is seeking to strike down two of Obamacare’s most popular provisions: the rule that insurance companies can’t turn someone away or charge them more based on a pre-existing condition, and the rule that limits how much insurers can charge older patients for their premiums.
Since Congress repealed the penalty for not having insurance in its tax reform package last year, much of the rest of the insurance statute becomes unconstitutional in 2019 and must be “struck down,” attorneys for the Justice Department said in a court filing Thursday. Such provisions include protecting people with pre-existing medical conditions from being charged more or being denied coverage.
The Trump administration declared that it no longer will defend the Affordable Care Act from a challenge filed by 20 states because it agrees that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that key parts of the act — including the provisions protecting those with pre-existing conditions — are invalid.
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.
The Trump administration on Thursday officially threw its support behind a new, seemingly far-fetched legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional.
The Trump administration’s contempt for Obamacare is no secret. And although the president and his supporters have sometimes said they believe in protections for people with pre-existing conditions, they have repeatedly taken action ― like trying to pass repeal legislation or rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s regulations on what plans must cover ― that seek to undermine or obliterate those protections entirely.
Usually, a presidential administration defends current law, but the Trump administration took a different tack, agreeing with the conservative states that the mandate and, with it, the law’s rules that prohibits insurers from denying people health insurance or charging them higher rates should now be found unconstitutional. However, the Justice Department lawyers told the court that the rest of the law could stand, including the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid to millions of the nation’s poorest citizens.
If the Trump administration’s argument were to prevail, insurers could once again be able to flat-out deny Americans insurance based on their health status. No amount of federal subsidies would protect them.
The American people deserve better than the raw deal Republicans have been forcing on them in health care. Democrats will continue to fight to protect Americans’ health care and lower their costs, and are offering A Better Deal to lower the surging costs of prescription drugs.