WASHINGTON – The Trump administration extended its attack on the affordable law of care on Monday and told a federal appeal court that it now believed the entire law would be invalidated.
The administration had previously said that the law's protection for persons with existing conditions should be abolished, but that the rest of the law, including the extension of Medicaid, should survive.
If the appeal court accepts the new Trump administration's arguments, millions of people may lose health insurance, including those covered by the extension of Medicaid and those who have private coverage subsidized by the federal government.
The new position is also sure to regenerate a political furor Over the Affordable Care Act, so that it will become even more prominent in the 2020 election. Democrats have said that President Trump still wants to abolish the law, and they can now point to the Justice Department's submission as evidence to support it.
The Ministry of Justice revealed its new position in a two-sentence letter to the United Kingdom's Appeals Court for the Fifth Circle of New Orleans and will deepen its position in a brief application later.
In the letter, the Justice Department said the court would confirm a judgment issued in December by Judge Reed & # 39; Connor of the United States District Court in Fort Worth.
Judge O & # 39; Connor, in a sweeping opinion, said that the individual mandate that requires people to have health insurance "can no longer be maintained as an exercise of the congressional tax effect" because Congress had eliminated the tax penalty for people who go without health insurance.
Thereafter, Judge O & # 39; Connor said "the individual mandate is constitutional" and the other provisions of the Affordable Health Act are also invalid.
In his letter to the appeal court, the Ministry of Justice informed Monday that it "does not call for any part of the court's judgment to be reversed". In other words, it agrees with the judge O & # 39; Connor's verdict.
In the nine years since it was signed by President Barack Obama, the affordable law of care has become embedded in the country's health care system. It changed how Medicare pays doctors, hospitals and other caregivers. It has released a wave of innovation in health care. The health insurance industry has invented a new business model that sells coverage to anyone who applies, regardless of existing conditions.
The law also contains dozens of provisions that are less known and not related to the individual mandate. It requires nutrition labeling and calorie number on menu options in chain restaurants. It requires some employers to provide "reasonable break" and a private space for nursing to pump breast milk. It improved prescription drug protection for Medicare recipients, and it created a new pathway for the approval of cheaper living cell drugs.
Lawyers said the annulment of the entire law would give rise to many legal and practical issues. It is, they said, difficult to imagine how the healthcare world would look without the reasonable law of care.
Trump administration's new position was heavily criticized by the insurance industry and by consumer advocates.
Government's position "puts cover at risk for more than 100 million Americans," said Matt Eyles, president and head of the United States Health Plans.
Leslie Dach, chairman of Protect Our Care, a consumer advocacy group, said: "In November, voters overwhelming President Trump's health care abolition and sabotage agenda. But he is still killed to bring about by the courts what he and his Congress allies could not do legally: completely abolish the law, destroy US health care and endanger millions of Americans. "
The new trump administration's attitude seems to put Republicans in the congress in a difficult position. They have repeatedly tried to repeal the health law, but over the past year they repeatedly said they wanted to protect the coverage of people with existing conditions, and Protection is among the most popular laws of the law.
The lawsuit challenges the Affordable Care Act, Texas v. USA, filed last year by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general secretaries. California officials and more than a dozen other states have intervened to defend
The Texas trial "is as dangerous as it is ruthless," said lawyer Xavier Becerra in California on Monday when he left a card urging the appeal court to uphold the law.