Trump administration says entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down
The Trump administration on Monday said the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down, in a dramatic reversal.
In a filing with a federal appeals court, the Justice Department said it agreed with the ruling of a federal judge in Texas that invalidated the Obama-era health care law.
In a letter Monday night, the administration said “it is not urging that any portion of the district court’s judgment be reversed.”
“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s comprehensive opinion came to the correct conclusion and will support it on appeal,” said Kerri Kupec, spokesperson for the Justice Department.
It’s a major shift for the Justice Department from when Jeff Sessions was attorney general. At the time, the administration argued that the community rating rule and the guaranteed issue requirement — protections for people with pre-existing conditions — could not be defended but the rest of the law could stand.
After the Justice Department took that position, federal District Judge Reed O’Connor struck down the entire law and the case is currently before a federal appeals court.
The Trump administration would not defend the law in court so a coalition of 21 Democratic states led by California stepped in.
“This lawsuit is as dangerous as it is reckless. It threatens the healthcare of tens of millions of Americans across the country — from California to Kentucky and all the way to Maine,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a statement. “The Affordable Care Act is an integral part of our healthcare system. … Because no American should fear losing healthcare, we will defend the ACA every step of the way.”
By Ariane de Vogue and Tami Luhby, CNN