Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
The Trump administration told a federal court recently that it would no longer defend provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed at protecting consumers with pre-existing medical conditions (Source: “Justice Department Says Crucial Provisions of Obamacare Are Unconstitutional,” New York Times, June 7, 2018).
Under those provisions of the law, insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge higher rates to people with pre-existing conditions. The U.S. Department of Justice said the provisions were part of an unconstitutional scheme that required most Americans to carry health insurance.
In a court case filed by Texas and 19 other states, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a brief on June 7 that the requirement for people to have insurance, the individual mandate, was unconstitutional.
A definitive court ruling could be months away and appeals of any decision could take many more months, during which the law is likely to stay in effect.
The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in 2012 as an exercise of the government’s power to tax. Since Congress repealed the tax last year, the mandate and the law’s consumer protections can no longer be justified, said the U.S. Department of Justice.