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Court Strikes Blow For Health Care

Last week, a federal district court judge put a stop to another effort by the Administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The judge’s ruling halts an attempt by the Department of Labor to expand Association Health Plans and weaken the ACA. In past Alerts, we have highlighted the dangers of these plans and how they undermine our health care.

Expanding these Association Plans would make it easier for certain small employers to offer plans that don’t have ACA coverage protections. These plans could also weaken essential health benefits for people who need coverage and care the most. Others who still rely on ACA compliant plans would likely see a spike in their premiums. As CNN rightly reports, “these policies… could destabilize Obamacare by siphoning out younger and healthier Americans….” This would raise costs over time for people who are older and rely on the protections mandated by the ACA.

We stated in comments opposing the Association Plan rule that it “…will weaken the individual and small group markets that are critical sources of coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions. The effect of the rule will be lower costs and more choices for some small employers, but, conversely, increased cost and limited choice for others.” The judge who issued the ruling called it “clearly an end-run around the ACA.”

We call it health care sabotage.

Advocacy Organizations File Amicus Brief In ACA Case

This week the Center for Medicare Advocacy joined AARP and Justice in Aging in filing an amicus brief in Texas v. United States, urging the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court’s December 2018 ruling that would nullify the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). The three organizations highlight the ACA’s critical protections for older adults and the disastrous ramifications that would ensue if the law were to be struck down. The amicus brief was filed in support of the appellant states, which are led by California. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new, more extreme position in the case, maintaining that the entire law must be invalidated.

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