Trump administration's Obamacare alternative struck down by judge

Kenny Tucker
March 31, 2019

Trump upped the ante Wednesday when he told reporters in the Oval Office that "we'll have a plan that is far better than Obamacare" if the ACA is overturned.

Kennedy, a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee that vets health care bills, says Congress could follow the Massachusetts' lead and push for bipartisan reforms - if only his colleagues across the aisle were willing.

'This move by the Trump administration is a slap in the face to American families, a devastating blow to Republicans who promised to protect people with pre-existing conditions, ' he said on the Senate floor Tuesday. From An additional 942,000 non-elderly Alabamians have pre-existing conditions and could be denied coverage without the law's pre-existing conditions protections.

The decision by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the rule allowing so-called association health plans is "clearly an end run" around the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that "creates absurd results".

"We're pleased that the District Court saw past the Trump Administration's transparent effort to sabotage our healthcare system and gut these critical consumer protections in the service of its own partisan agenda", Letitia James, New York's attorney general said in a prepared statement. "We'll wait and see what it is", said Sen.

"They have provided a means by which broad benefits may be accessed at more economical prices", Coleman said.

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Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said Wednesday on CNN that "the President will be putting plans forward this year" on a health care replacement plan.

While DeWine, like most Republicans, has always been a critic of the health-reform law nicknamed "Obamacare", he made similar comments on the campaign trail a year ago that he's in favor of the part of the law prohibiting insurance companies from denying health coverage to someone because of a pre-existing medical condition. The strategy paid off and Democrats won a broad 38-seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It's been a controversial couple of days at the Department of Justice. The legal filing gave Democrats a natural opening to focus on an issue they say is more important to voters than the Mueller investigation.

In December, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled the individual mandate could no longer be considered constitutional after Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax cut package passed by Congress that eliminated the penalties. The case was a suit filed by 20 Republican-led states suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the health care law.

'The individual plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the resulting law because they suffer no legal harm from the existence of a provision that offers them a lawful choice between buying insurance or doing nothing, ' they wrote in court papers.

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