Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Trump’s New Plan to Dismantle Obamacare Comes With Political Risks

Sessions defended the unusual decision in a June 7 letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

The Trump administration is siding with Texas in the state's bid to convince a federal judge that Obamacare is largely unconstitutional.

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. The first, known as guaranteed issue, requires insurers to offer coverage to everyone regardless of their health background.

In a brief filed in a Texas federal court, the Justice Department said the ACA's individual mandate - which required most Americans to carry health insurance - can no longer be interpreted as a tax "because it will raise no revenue as Congress has eliminated the monetary penalty". 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. The repeal takes effect next year. In the meantime, the existing law will likely remain.

In many ways, the lawsuit, filed in February, is a replay of the politically divided litigation that ended with the U.S. supreme court upholding the healthcare overhaul in 2012.

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A coalition of 20 USA states sued the federal government in February, claiming the law was no longer constitutional after last year's repeal of the penalty that individuals had to pay for not having insurance.

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.

"Justice Department attorneys don't withdraw from cases simply because the government is making an argument the lawyers think the courts should or would reject", he said. "The brief filed by the Trump Administration yesterday represents a shocking break from precedent, and relies on legally dubious, partisan claims to argue against the constitutionality of the current law", they said in a joint statement.

Americans are very divided over the Affordable Care Act, but one piece that many support is the law's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

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