Trump admin: We won't defend Obamacare

Trump justice department will stop defending key parts of Obamacare

Trump justice department will stop defending key parts of Obamacare

In a brief filed Thursday, the Justice Department sided with Texas and a coalition of other Republican-led states that had filed a suit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare.

In a legal filing Thursday night, the Department of Justice said that key parts of Obamacare should be invalidated and that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions are connected with the individual mandate, according to the Justice Department, meaning that they must also be struck down.

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections, such as guaranteed issue and community rating rules, that help those with pre-existing conditions", AHIP said in a statement.

Some experts have said that regardless of how the case is decided, insurers could raise premiums for next year due to the uncertainty the case is causing, a point echoed by the Democrats.

Becerra's pledge came in response to an announcement from the administration Thursday that it would not defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act in court.

Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, the lawsuit said that without the individual mandate, Obamacare in its entirety was unlawful.

Texas and the accompanying states have asked for a preliminary injunction that could suspend the entire law while the case plays out in court. It also says the provisions shielding people with medical conditions from being denied coverage or charged higher premiums also fall.

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


"Democrats will not allow Republicans to get away with quietly trying to strip away pre-existing conditions protections for millions of Americans through a legal backdoor", said Rep.

If the court agrees with the Justice Department's argument to toss out part of the law that protects individuals with an existing medical condition, that could affect millions of Americans who buy insurance directly from the marketplace.

The mandate introduced with Obamacare, the popular name for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was meant to ensure a viable health insurance market by forcing younger and healthier Americans to buy coverage.

But it says the rest of the law, including Medicaid expansion, can remain in place.

Becerra is leading an effort by Democratic attorney generals from others states and the District of Columbia to defend the ACA against that lawsuit.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a letter to Congress on Thursday that Trump, who campaigned on repealing the law and almost did so his first year in office, approved the legal strategy.

Congressional Republicans, who unsuccessfully sought to undo President Barack Obama's signature health care law throughout 2017, added language to the GOP tax bill that ended the controversial tax penalty for those who fail to obtain health care coverage. In addition, the government doesn't go so far as Texas and its fellow plaintiffs in arguing that the Affordable Care Act and the regulations issued under it are now invalid.

While Justice Department attorneys often advocate for laws they may personally disagree with, those three civil servants instead made a decision to exit from the case, which Bagley described as "almost unheard of".

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