On Monday, twenty State Attorney’s General, led by Texas and Wisconsin, announced another lawsuit to sue the federal government over the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The suit focuses on the individual mandate penalty that Congress repealed in last year’s tax bill. The AGs argue that the ACA is null and void because it doesn’t have the individual mandate penalty. As Politico reports, “Many of the same states argued at the Supreme Court in 2012 that the individual mandate was unconstitutional — and that the whole law was invalid because it couldn’t survive without the mandate.”
This lawsuit would simply sabotage the ACA, destabilize our healthcare system, and deny millions of consumer’s critical health coverage. There were several unsuccessful attempts by Congressional Republicans to repeal the ACA last year. As each attempt failed, it became clearer that the American people support the ACA and want access to quality coverage. We call on the Administration to defend and implement the ACA as it is the law of the land. The courts must not be used to sabotage our healthcare system. Unfortunately, the President seems more interested in seeing that "Piece by piece by piece, Obamacare is being wiped out" as he stated in recent remarks.
Last week, we highlighted a proposed rule issued by the Administration to allow the sale of junk plans which won’t have to comply with ACA coverage rules or protections. This rule would allow insurers to sell temporary plans that won’t offer consumers comprehensive coverage when they may need care the most. In a brand new report, The Urban Institute finds that these junk plans, along with unfortunate “other policy changes” would raise premiums by double digits and leave about 9 million people without coverage. This is unacceptable.
The tax bill’s repeal of the individual mandate penalty and the proposed rule allowing the sale of junk plans come on top of many other actions taken by the Administration to undermine the ACA. We watched as they cut the enrollment period in half; slashed funding for enrollment assistance and advertising; refused to participate in enrollment events; and shut down healthcare.gov during critical times.
It’s time for all attempts to sabotage the ACA, weaken coverage protections and deny consumers access to quality care to stop. It’s time for the Administration, Congress and state officials to protect our care.
- Read the Urban Institute’s report at https://www.urban.org/research/publication/potential-impact-short-term-limited-duration-policies-insurance-coverage-premiums-and-federal-spending