Republicans Seek to Gut ACA Pre-Existing Conditions Through Courts—After the Midterms

The administration seeks to strip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions — where does Kevin Cramer stand?

(BISMARCK, ND) — When Washington Republicans stripped provisions from the Affordable Care Act in their budget busting tax bill, they raised costs for hardworking North Dakota families. Now, they are going after the folks who need protection from exorbitant premium increases the most: seniors and patients with pre-existing conditions.

But to make sure Washington Republicans don’t take a political hit, the Justice Department took an extra step and asked a federal court not to implement the action until after the midterm elections.

“This is what Kevin Cramer voted for — higher costs and fewer protections for North Dakotans,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “The Republican tax bill is a massive giveaway to out-of-state corporate executives, is expanding the national debt, and now is being used to rip health care away from the families and seniors who need it most. But Kevin Cramer is running ads that tout his support for the legislation, while failing to acknowledge the thousands of North Dakotans who are at risk of losing or paying even more for their health care. The underhanded way that Republicans are going about the systematic dismantling of an important safety net is disturbing.”

Politico: Trump administration backs court case to overturn key Obamacare provisions

  • The Trump administration is urging a federal court to dismantle two of the most popular provisions of Obamacare, but to delay taking such drastic action until after the midterm elections this fall.

  • Responding to a lawsuit from conservative states seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, the Justice Department told a judge in Texas on Thursdaythat Congress’ decision to repeal the penalty for failing to buy health insurance renders unconstitutional other Obamacare language banning insurers from charging people more or denying them coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

  • The Texas-led lawsuit filed in February claims that the recent elimination of Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty means that the whole health care law should now be ruled invalid. The mandate penalty was wiped out effective in 2019 as part of the GOP tax law passed late last year, H.R. 1 (115).

  • The administration’s evening filing says it agrees with states bringing the suit that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, as are two of the law’s major insurance provisions meant to protect people with expensive medical conditions. With the filing, the Trump administration is asking the courts to wipe out protections that many congressional Republicans were wary of eliminating in their failed efforts to repeal Obamacare.

  • “I am at a loss for words to explain how big of a deal this is,” University of Michigan health law professor Nicholas Bagley, an authority on Obamacare, wrote on Twitter. “The Justice Department has a durable, longstanding, bipartisan commitment to defending the law when non-frivolous arguments can be made in its defense. This brief torches that commitment.”