Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Trump Sides With Texas, Won't Defend Obamacare in Court


In a brief filed in a Texas federal court, the Justice Department said the ACA's individual mandate - which required most Americans to carry health insurance - can no longer be interpreted as a tax "because it will raise no revenue as Congress has eliminated the monetary penalty".

The administration said it agrees with Texas that the so-called individual mandate will be unconstitutional without the fine.

That includes the requirement that people have health insurance and sections that guarantee access to coverage regardless of any medical conditions, the Associated Press reported. The Justice Department reportedly also wants to repeal limits on insurance costs based on gender and age.

While Justice Department attorneys often advocate for laws they may personally disagree with, those three civil servants instead made a decision to exit from the case, which Bagley described as "almost unheard of". In it, the states deem the entirety of Obamacare and its regulations invalid.

In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a legal use of Congress's taxing power.

These consumer protections proved enormously popular with Americans and are among the reasons why efforts to repeal Obamacare in Congress failed previous year.

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

Department officials believe because the Obamacare mandate was repealed, but is still in place- the mandate is no longer a tax. In the new suit, California is leading a group of Democratically led states in defending the law.

These sections of the law, along with the mandate that insurers provide comprehensive coverage, are the bedrock of Obamacare's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

What do other states say?

"Just read the brief of the states that intervened to defend the law". A definitive court ruling "could be months away" according to The New York Times, with appeals lasting many more. For instance, it did not go after the creation of health insurance marketplaces, premium subsidies for low-income members and Medicaid expansion.

"This is yet another malicious Republican attack that will undermine the stability of our healthcare system, and could once again mean that you or a loved one are denied healthcare because of a pre-existing condition", said Meredith Kelly, the communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

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