Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

The Trump administration says Obamacare is unconstitutional: Wha

The Trump administration is calling a key part of Obamacare that protects individuals with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional The Trump Administration Is Using a New Tactic to Dismantle Obamacare. What You Need to Know About It
Delia Stanley | 11 June, 2018, 16:30

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, and other House Democrats condemned the Trump administration Friday after the Justice Department announced it would not defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

In the past, polls have found that both Republicans and Democrats favor protecting coverage for the tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Texas said that without the fine in place the requirement to have health insurance is unconstitutional and the entire law should be struck down as a result.

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 attorneys general argue that a Supreme Court decision in 2012 saved the ACA from being declared an unconstitutional overreach of congressional power by declaring the penalty a tax - and pointing out that Congress has the power to levy taxes. Those include Congress' decision to repeal the individual mandate penalty and rules expected soon from the administration that will expand the market for lower cost and short-term policies that won't have to follow all the ACA rules. The lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, contends that without an individual mandate, the entirety of the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional.

Becerra estimated that the states that back the health care law could lose half a trillion dollars in health care funding if the suit is successful. Yet he has granted standing to a group of 17 Democratic-led states that filed a brief on Thursday night arguing for the preservation of Obamacare, and will no doubt give them a fair hearing. The mandate has always been a sticking point for conservatives, who argue that the government should not be telling individuals what coverage they must have.

The administration said it agrees with Texas.

House Republicans said Friday they aren't sweating the Trump administration's refusal to defend Obamacare against a lawsuit that could nix popular health care protections, saying the case is in its infancy and they acquitted themselves by offering an alternative health plan previous year.

Under these provisions of the law, insurance companies can not deny coverage or charge higher rates to people with pre-existing medical conditions. The rest of the ACA can function without the mandate, the brief says, and should be retained.

"After careful consideration, and with the approval of the President of the United States, I have determined that, in Texas v". Nothing yet. The Democratic attorneys general are aggressively defending the ACA and the case probably won't be decided until late summer or fall. In the case of health care, "fortunately we have 16 other [Democratic attorneys general] who are prepared to do it with us". If the court ends up siding with the Trump administration and the Republican states that brought the suit, the consequences would be significant, Perlman said.

If the judge buys the administration's argument, and if his ruling is upheld on appeal, 52 million Americans with preexisting conditions could face denial of coverage or higher premiums. Previously, insurers could deny or restrict applicants' coverage based on their medical history, or carriers could charge higher premiums or offer only skimpy benefits to those who are or were sick. Now, the Justice Department's stance in a federal-court case in Texas will allow Democrats to argue that Republicans want to deny affordable health coverage to some of the people who need it most. "In practice, this likely would exclude from the commercial health insurance markets individuals with preexisting conditions, individuals with illnesses that are expensive to treat, and many individuals over the age of 50 or 55". These marketplaces have had their troubles - with many commercial insurers defecting and prices spiking - but their basic contours have remained intact.

Several Republicans said Friday that if the administration did prevail, it would be their responsibility to step in and restore protections for people with preexisting conditions. How are insurers to prepare for this unknown future?

"How many times this term already have you flipped positions from prior administrations?"

Regrettably, all of this turmoil is completely unnecessary. What's at issue here is the fact that Congress is getting rid of the penalty for the individual mandate, reducing it to zero as of next January 1 - January 1, 2019. Health officials halved the sign-up period to buy ACA health plans, cutting from $100 million to $10 million an advertising budget to help encourage consumers to sign up, and slashed funds for grass-roots organizations that helped people enroll.

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