DOJ Won't Defend Obamacare in Lawsuit Brought by 20 States

DOJ Won't Defend Obamacare in Lawsuit Brought by 20 States

On Thursday night, the DOJ declined to defend ObamaCare against a lawsuit filed by Texas and 19 other GOP-led states, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

The Trump administration, in a late-Thursday court filing, stated that it would no longer defend provisions of the health care law, known as Obamacare, that require people to have health insurance and guarantee access to health insurance regardless of any medical conditions, the Associated Press reported.

The Justice Department thus claims that the individual mandate is unconstitutional as of January 1.

"Otherwise individuals could wait until they become sick to purchase insurance, thus driving up premiums for everyone else", Sessions said in his letter to Pelosi.

While it is uncommon for the Justice Department to go against federal law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he acted with the "approval of the President of the United States".

Weighing in on a Texas challenge to the health law, the Justice Department argued that legally and practically the popular consumer protections can not be separated from the unpopular insurance mandate, which Congress has repealed, effective next year.

As a result, the Texas lawsuit contends, "the country is left with an individual mandate to buy health insurance that lacks any constitutional basis".

Afghan Taliban announce cease-fire for Eid holiday
Farhad said at least 13 others were wounded in the attack . "I hope these three days of ceasefire turn to a permanent ceasefire". The Taliban's cease-fire is expected to run from June 12 to June 14, while the government's will last until around June 20.

Administration officials at the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury would not comment, instead pointing to the Justice Department filing, which said other parts of the health law would continue to stand, including its Medicaid expansion covering about 12 million low-income people. 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.

Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress have sought to dismantle Obamacare, which sought to expand insurance coverage to more Americans. They say the rest of the law is not able to be separated from the mandate, and therefore should also be overturned.

While the case has to play out from here, the administration's striking position raises the possibility that major parts of the law could be struck down - a year after the Republican Congress failed at attempts to repeal core provisions.

That argument is likely to be lost on consumers, said Robert Blendon, a polling expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - particularly in the heat of an election that will determine control of Congress. In their suit, lodged in February in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, they argue that the entire law is now invalid. However, if the federal court sides with the plaintiffs, those with pre-existing conditions could once again be denied coverage.

"Because the mandate is unconstitutional, those. elements must fail as well", he said. Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute told Politico that the refusal to defend key parts of the ACA shows that the Trump administration is going even further in its battle against the health care law. In this case, California is leading a group of Democrat-led states in defending the law.

The US 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.

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

Related Articles