Trump admin: We won't defend Obamacare

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 9, 2018

"If the Trump administration is successful in arguing against the constitutionality of protecting patients' access to care, it will have immediate and disastrous effect on our health care system and the American people", the lawmakers say.

Removing certain provisions tied to the Affordable Care Act, former U.S. President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, could strike out important consumer protections and potentially harm millions of Americans, a trade association that represents U.S. health insurers said on Friday.

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.

But it says the rest of the law, including Medicaid expansion, can remain in place.

In many ways, the lawsuit, filed in February, is a replay of the politically divided litigation that ended with the United States supreme court upholding the healthcare overhaul in 2012.

While U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions argues that no reasonable arguments exist to defend Obamacare, California led a coalition of 15 states and D.C.to fight Texas's suit, saying the individual mandate has twice survived Supreme Court review and attempts by Congress to repeal the law, thus legitimizing it. Stripping away Obamacare would create a health crisis by putting at risk some $500 billion in health-care funding, according to a statement issued by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The major difference is that the justice department, under Donald Trump, has largely switched sides.

"Justice Department attorneys don't withdraw from cases simply because the government is making an argument the lawyers think the courts should or would reject", he said.

Timothy Jost, law professor emeritus at Washington and Lee University in Virginia said the Trump administration is trying to persuade the court to do what it was unable to achieve in Congress a year ago - essentially, repeal key parts of the Obama health law.

Jost said it's telling that three career Justice Department lawyers refused to support the administration's position. A Justice Department spokeswoman said the lawyers' withdrawal had been a department decision, declining to specify whether the lawyers had personally objected to continuing on the case.

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