The 'Biggest Health Care News of the Year'

Medicaid expansion ups access to rehab in young adults with injury

It is asking a court to throw out major elements, including hugely popular provisions that protect sick people from being denied health insurance or charged higher rates. Congress recently repealed a provision that people without health insurance must pay a fine.

"The Justice Department has a long-standing, durable, bipartisan commitment to defend acts of Congress".

Most legal scholars seem to think this suit is unlikely to succeed.

"Weighing those considerations here, I have concluded that this is a rare case where the proper course is to forgo defense of Section 5000 (a)", Sessions said of the ACA's requirement for individuals to have essential health coverage. First, if the administration's position prevails, millions of Americans will lose the protections they thought they had against being denied coverage if they suffer from preexisting conditions.

Many advocates spoke out against the Trump administration's stance on the law's consumer protections.

"We did that before with our repeal-and-replace bill".

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. Not only may health insurance continue getting less affordable, they even want to take away the pre-existing conditions protection you now enjoy, all while they're working hard to destabilize the private insurance market.

But that was not the talking point of the party's re-election arm.

The ACA is a package made up of two separate laws: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA).

"The lawsuit initiated by Texas is unsafe and reckless and would destroy the ACA as we know it". In the law, Congress repealed the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate that everyone have health insurance. The lawsuit from a coalition of state attorneys general and two governors says Congress' decision to repeal the individual mandate penalty in ObamaCare makes the healthcare law illegal.

"The individual mandate thus still exists, but it will no longer be fairly possible to describe it as a tax because it will no longer generate any revenue", the Justice Department said in its brief on Thursday.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers launched that attack on part of the ACA Wednesday, by asking a federal court in Texas to let the governments of Texas and other states that oppose the ACA win part of a suit they have filed - but only part of their suit.

If the administration prevails in the case, the full force of the decision would not hit until after the midterm elections on November 6.

Analysts at Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service have said that large health insurers' remaining individual major medical operations look stable right now, but that uncertainty about ACA rules and subsidies could cause problems in the future. "That's how far out the administration's position is".

"The goal of Texas' lawsuit is to leave Americans without health insurance, forcing them to choose between their health and other needs", says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The Trump administration's startling decision to abandon one of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions - protections for people with preexisting medical conditions - put Republicans on the defensive Friday and handed Democrats a potentially potent political message.

"Just read the brief of the states that intervened to defend the law".

"I am at a loss for words to explain how big of a deal this is", University of MI law professor Nicholas Bagley said in a blog post. "This is a sad moment".

The Washington Post reported that three career Justice attorneys involved in the case - Joel McElvain, Eric Beckenhauer and Rebecca Kopplin - withdrew before the filing at 6 p.m. Thursday, an unusual time for such an action.

"It's just one more part of the story of trying to politicize the Justice Department", said Jost, a supporter of the health law.

"The Justice Department has an obligation to defend the law, and it has refused to do so because it dislikes this particular law", Bagley told USA TODAY.

This current lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, argues that since Congress has changed the law to remove the penalty forcing individuals to get insurance, it has inadvertently rendered the rest of the law impermissible, under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., released a letter with other top Democratic senators demanding the administration reverse the move, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee wasted no time blasting out news releases questioning whether Republican candidates agreed with the administration.

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