ACA lawsuit could jeopardize 52 million Americans' access to health care

Postado Junho 10, 2018

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.

Still, insurers downplayed the size of the impact of the litigation, saying uncertainty from the repeal of the individual mandate penalties last December and other recent changes that loosen regulations in the health insurance market have already been factored into prices.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday that the part of Obamacare requiring individuals to have health insurance is unconstitutional, an unusual move that could lead to stripping away some of the most significant and popular parts of the law.

Rather, in the brief, the Justice Department says that only the section of the law dealing with the individual mandate is unconstitutional. But under the GOP tax bill signed into law last December, tax penalties for people without insurance were eliminated. "It's important for consumers to know that the Affordable Care Act and the protections it ensures for their coverage are still the law, and they should continue to see their health providers and plan to shop for coverage this fall as they have any other year", says Imholz.

"If the Trump administration is successful in arguing against the constitutionality of protecting patients' access to care, it will have immediate and disastrous effect on our health care system and the American people", the lawmakers say.

"Just read the brief of the states that intervened to defend the law".

Sessions said in his letter that the Justice Department was not arguing that the entire law does not pass constitutional muster. As a result, the entire remainder of the ACA must be upheld, even if the court finds the mandate unconstitutional.

Bailey's spokesman Corey Uhden said Friday that he wouldn't comment on the constitutionality of the ACA provisions.

Loosening the health law's rules on pre-existing conditions and on charging more to older adults is a key goal for the Trump administration. There is reason to believe the judge may accept the Trump administration's arguments. He said the department only refused to defend the pre-existing conditions provision as well as one forbidding insurers from charging people in the same community different rates based on gender, age, health status or other factors.

Jost said it's telling that three career Justice Department lawyers refused to support the administration's position. It is hard to escape the conclusion that the brief is an attempt to use the courts to do what Congress was unwilling to do: repeal major consumer protections of the ACA.

More recently, the White House and Department of Health and Human Services have been working to make it easier for consumers to buy relatively low-cost health plans that exclude some of the benefits the ACA requires.

"In refusing to follow bipartisan tradition and defend the ACA in the US federal court system, the Trump administration is nakedly admitting that it wants to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, breaking a promise that the president has made time and again", said Topher Spiro, vice president of health policy at the Center for American Progress.

"Otherwise individuals could wait until they become sick to purchase insurance, thus driving up premiums for everyone else", Sessions said in his letter to Pelosi.