Trump Administration Moves to Eliminate Pre-Existing Conditions Protections

The Trump administration is calling a key part of Obamacare that protects individuals with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional

The Trump Administration Is Using a New Tactic to Dismantle Obamacare. What You Need to Know About It

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in June 2017 showed that 70% of those polled, including 59% of Republicans, wanted Washington to continue barring insurers from charging people with preexisting conditions more for their coverage.

In a three-page letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged "the Executive Branch has a longstanding tradition of defending the constitutionality of duly enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense". The states argue that, because the TCJA has eliminated the individual mandate penalty, the ACA individual mandate is no longer a tax law. Second, the administration argues that because the individual mandate is unconstitutional, other key provisions of the law should be struck down on the ground that they can't be severed, or removed, from the unconstitutional mandate. Some are focused on the unusual circumstance that Justice is arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

Their reasoning was borrowed from Barnett, who had proposed in his article that while the Congress has the power to regulate existing commercial activities, it can't force people to undertake a commercial activity they are not already engaged in.

If this lawsuit succeeds, who would be affected?

The theory went something like this: If you aren't compelled to buy insurance when you're healthy, but you're allowed to buy it when you find out you are sick, then only sick people would buy health insurance.

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Before the Affordable Care Act marketplace launched in 2014, people with chronic diseases who tried to buy their own insurance were routinely denied coverage based on their medical history. "Once again, Republicans are trying to destroy protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions". Estimates vary widely because there is not a standard definition of what counts as a pre-existing condition. However, he said, Bailey opposes the individual mandate and wants less government regulation of health insurance.

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections" that help guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, a written statement from the group said. "Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019".

Is anything going to change right away? Obviously, this is a lawsuit, and it could take months or even years to work its way through the courts.

In that scenario, other ACA provisions would stay in place.

"There is no doubt that Republicans are responsible for the rising cost of healthcare premiums and the high likelihood that many will no longer be able to afford basic care at all, and they will face serious blowback in the midterms", the House Democrats' campaign operation said in a statement. Jost wrote that the development puts health insurers in a quandry, since they are now setting rates for the individual market in 2019. For instance, it didn't go after the creation of health insurance marketplaces, premium subsidies for low-income members and Medicaid expansion.

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But others say the legal brief may have minimal impact next year on premiums.

Baileys spokesman Corey Uhden said Friday that he wouldnt comment on the constitutionality of the ACA provisions.

Texas and the accompanying states have asked for a preliminary injunction that could suspend the entire law while the case plays out in court. The administration's arguments are so radical that, just before the brief was filed, several career attorneys in the Justice Department working on the case filed a motion to withdraw, refusing to sign their name to the arguments the administration was advancing.

The legal challenge led by the state of Texas argues that these consumer protections - as well as the law's multibillion-dollar program for expanding the Medicaid safety net to poor Americans - should be scrapped because Congress previous year repealed the penalty on Americans who don't have health coverage. "In practice, this likely would exclude from the commercial health insurance markets individuals with preexisting conditions, individuals with illnesses that are expensive to treat, and many individuals over the age of 50 or 55".

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