Trump Seeks End to Pre-existing Condition Mandate

The court held that Congress was able to offer people a choice: get insurance, or pay a tax.

The U.S. Justice Department says it will no longer defend major parts of the Affordable Care Act in court.

Sessions said in his letter that the Justice Department was not arguing that the entire law does not pass constitutional muster.

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.

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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 second, called community rating, prevents carriers from charging more to those who are sick or had conditions in the past. However, these practices also allowed insurers to keep rates lower for those who are young and healthy.

The chances for that argument succeeding are viewed with deep skepticism by legal experts, in part because Congress itself indicated that the rest of ObamaCare could still stand without the mandate when it moved to repeal the tax penalty previous year. Republicans' attempts to lower premiums by slicing into these provisions sparked tremendous backlash from many quarters. And a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in May found that health care is one of the top issues on the minds of voters going into the 2018 midterms - especially Democrats.

Since Congress repealed the penalty for not having insurance in its tax reform package a year ago, much of the rest of the insurance statute becomes unconstitutional in 2019 and must be "struck down", attorneys for the Justice Department said in a court filing Thursday. "This was often the case before the law took effect and would likely be the same should these essential protections be eliminated". If granted, the request would also lead to higher premiums for. In addition, the government doesn't go so far as Texas and its fellow plaintiffs in arguing that the Affordable Care Act and the regulations issued under it are now invalid. 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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