Medicine

Trump admin says entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down

Trump admin says entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down

When asked for comment on the legal filing, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told ABC News, "The Department of Justice has determined that the district court's comprehensive opinion came to the correct conclusion and will support it on appeal". A group of red state attorneys general follow up in court by arguing that, because the law was created to function as a seamless whole, eliminating one major component requires the elimination of the entire rest of the law.

And Axios noted that the Trump administration had initially argued that the courts should only toss out the individual mandate and protections for pre-existing conditions. President Barack Obama's former solicitor general, Donald Verrilli - who once defended the law before the Supreme Court - is now defending the law on behalf of the Democratic-led House.

'The United States is not urging that any portion of the district court's judgment be reversed...'

The move comes as the White House is celebrating Attorney General William Barr's review of the long-awaited findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which he reported didn't find evidence to show the Trump campaign conspired with Russian Federation to meddle in the 2016 election. But the administration had said that the rest of the law could stay.

The DOJ recently sent a letter to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans asking the court to uphold the lower court's decision to rule the act, known as Obamacare, invalid.

Though expected to pass the Democrat-controlled House, the bill will immediately fail in the Republican-controlled Senate. The change comes as newly empowered Democrats in the House have vowed to protect the ACA from Republican attacks.

In addition to tens of millions of Americans losing their coverage, Baker notes that a total repeal of the law would mean "the FDA would lose the authority to approve an entire class of drugs" and "the federal government would lose a lot of its power to test new payment models - in fact, the administration is relying on some of those ACA powers as it explores conservative changes to Medicaid".

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Democratic National Committee Tom Perez said Tuesday the filing moves Republicans "one step closer to throwing the financial security and peace of mind of millions - not to mention one of the largest sectors of our economy - into a tailspin".

Millions of people benefit from the ACA's taxpayer-subsidized private insurance plans, but enrollment is declining. O'Connor ruled that Congress's elimination of penalties for not buying health insurance rendered the law unconstitutional.

Democrats were quick to criticize the move.

Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, agreed and called the administration's maneuver "unconventional".

At the time, the Justice Department argued only two provisions of the health care law should be tossed out: one that requires insurance companies to cover individuals with pre-existing conditions and another that prevents insurers from charging a higher premium due to pre-existing conditions.

"At the end of the day, I don't think this is going to have a big effect", Adler said.

Nearly immediately the decision was appealed by a group of pro-ACA attorneys general led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the case is now at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.