Justice Department won't defend Affordable Care Act provisions in court

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 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. The second, called community rating, prevents carriers from charging more to those who are sick or had conditions in the past.

Protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions are connected with the individual mandate, according to the Justice Department, meaning that they must also be struck down.

These consumer protections proved enormously popular with Americans and are among the reasons why efforts to repeal Obamacare in Congress failed past year. However, if the federal court sides with the plaintiffs, those with pre-existing conditions could once again be denied coverage. Congress, Trump eye new agency to invest overseas Good economic vibes fail to make GOP tax law popular MORE (Mass.), the top three Democrats on the House's health-care committees.


The decision by the department (DoJ) was announced in a filing in a federal court in Texas, part of a lawsuit brought by Texas and other Republican-led states to strike down the entire law. "Without access to comprehensive coverage patients will be forced to delay, skip or forgo care".

Some experts have said that regardless of how the case is decided, insurers could raise premiums for next year due to the uncertainty the case is causing, a point echoed by the Democrats.

It backs up their contention that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional.

This is not the first move the Trump administration has taken that would undermine Obamacare's consumer protections. One would allow small businesses to band together to buy coverage through association health plans, while the other would let Americans buy short-term coverage that would last less than a year, rather than the current 90-day limit.

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