Trump Seeks End to Pre-existing Condition Mandate

Trump justice department will stop defending key parts of Obamacare

The Justice Department legal position nevertheless signals a remarkable willingness by the Trump administration to abandon landmark consumer protections in the health care law that for the first time prohibit health insurers from turning away sick consumers.

The Trump administration's decision to stop defending in court the Obama health law's popular protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions could prove risky for Republicans in the midterm elections - and nudge premiums even higher.

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

The Trump administration delivered an early midterms present to Democrats Thursday night when the Justice Department chose to side with 20 GOP states in a lawsuit seeking to gut the core protections of the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Trump administration, however, is seeking to gut two core provisions that guarantee that these folks can get health insurance and that they won't have to pay more for it. They say the rest of the law is not able to be separated from the mandate, and therefore should also be overturned.

"The American public widely supports retaining protections for pre-existing conditions".

"The lawsuit initiated by Texas is risky and reckless and would destroy the ACA as we know it". "It suggests that future administrations can pick and choose which laws they're going to enforce", he said.

The Affordable Care Act has already survived several court challenges, and this latest test of its durability could take months or years to go through the legal system.

Capitol Police drag a blind protester out of a Senate Finance Committee hearing about the proposed Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington.more +. Until the Trump Administration (which is the target of the lawsuit) filed its views on Thursday, the case had been building without either side knowing what the government position would be.

"This is disgusting but not surprising". Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement.

"The entire point of insurance is that it should be there when you need it".

Bagley said, "That's nearly unheard of".

Based on those pre-ACA examples, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27 percent of people under age 65 have a pre-existing condition.

And though the federal government will apparently no longer defend a pillar of the law, a group of left-leaning states have stepped in to back it in court.

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. This is harmful to the health of these Americans and is very short-sighted considering the nation is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and 30% rise in suicide rates.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 16 million Americans suffer from depression each year. Collins, who voted against the Republican bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the Senate a year ago, also expressed concern about the administration's new push to undo it.

But some moderate Republicans, including Sens. Before the ACA passed, insurers commonly refused coverage for people with cancer, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis and even less serious conditions.

"With 130 million people who have a preexisting condition, there are a lot of people in swing districts waking up to the news today that Republicans are suing to try to let insurance companies discriminate against people with preexisting conditions", said Jesse Ferguson, former deputy director of the House Democrats' campaign arm. Slavitt and others criticized the move as an unprecedented decision by the Justice Department to not defend the rule of law.

Republicans have been trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act - a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's legacy - since it was enacted in 2010 without any Republican votes. "Unfortunately, today the situation is far worse", Schumer wrote.

"It's, simply put, an attack on the health care that millions of Americans have come to count on, and California, being the most successful state in implementing the Affordable Care Act, stands to lose perhaps more than anyone else". "This sabotage also has those with pre-existing conditions once again facing the prospect of denied coverage, increased costs, and medical bankruptcy".

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