Justice Department won't defend Affordable Care Act provisions in court

Justice Department won't defend Affordable Care Act provisions in court

Justice Department won't defend Affordable Care Act provisions in court

These include a "ban on insurers denying coverage and charging higher rates to people with pre-existing health conditions".

"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. They say the rest of the law is not able to be separated from the mandate, and therefore should also be overturned.

It said that the requirement that people have health insurance - the individual mandate - was unconstitutional and that the entire law, including provisions that guarantee access to health insurance regardless of any medical conditions, should be struck down as a result.

In court papers, the Justice Department said it doesn't want to stop the law in its tracks, but said they agreed with the plaintiffs who say the most famous parts of the law are now illegal.

The lawsuit led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argued an earlier case against the ACA made it clear that tax penalty was an essential component of the law, and when the Supreme Court upheld the ACA the ruling stated "without the tax penalty, the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance was an unconstitutional exercise of federal power".

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.

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Doug Ford will be the new premier of Ontario, with election results on Thursday showing a Progressive Conservative majority. Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford repeatedly slammed Horwath's roster of candidates as radical and inexperienced.

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Donald Verrilli Jr., President Barack Obama's top Supreme Court lawyer who defended the law, called the decision "a sad moment".

The Democrats further raised concerns that even if the Justice Department's arguments are unsuccessful, the administration's move could still "raise the cost of health care for most Americans, undermine the economy and weaken our democracy for years to come".

The chances for that argument succeeding are viewed with deep skepticism by legal experts, in part because Congress itself indicated that the rest of ObamaCare could still stand without the mandate when it moved to repeal the tax penalty previous year.

Despite the Justice Department position, the Health and Human Services Department has continued to apply the health law. Indeed, sign-up season for 2018 under the Trump administration resulted in only a slight enrollment drop-off from Obama's past year.

"The question is, what does this do to insurance markets now?" said Jost.

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