Trump administration asks Supreme Court to axe Obamacare
Send a link to a friend
[June 26, 2020]
By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) - President Donald Trump's
administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the
Obamacare law introduced by his predecessor that added millions to the
healthcare safety net but has been a major political controversy.
Government advocate Noel Francisco argued in a filing late on Thursday
that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - one of former President Barack
Obama's signature achievements - became invalid after the previous,
Republican-led Congress axed parts of it.
"Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the
rest of the ACA to continue to operate in the absence of these three
integral provisions," said Francisco, who leads the Justice Department's
Office of the Solicitor General.
"No further analysis is necessary; once the individual mandate and the
guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions are invalidated, the
remainder of the ACA cannot survive."
The legal push is sure to be an important political battleground in the
presidential election, where Trump is seeking re-election against the
challenge of Democratic candidate Joe Biden in a November vote.
"President Trump and the Republicansí campaign to rip away the
protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the
coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty," said Democratic
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with
pre-existing conditions will lose the ACAís lifesaving protections and
23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely. There is
no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump
Administrationís disastrous efforts to take away Americansí health
BIDEN CALLS MOVE "CALLOUS"
The United States is the nation worst-hit by COVID-19, with more than
124,000 deaths and 2.4 million infections.
[to top of second column]
President Donald Trump delivers a speech following a tour of
Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, U.S., June 25,
2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
It was the ACA that has prohibited health insurers from denying
coverage to Americans with pre-existing health conditions.
"It's cruel, it's heartless, it's callous," Biden said in a campaign
speech on Thursday of the move to gut Obamacare.
Trump has criticized healthcare costs and coverage under Obamacare
and has been promising since his 2016 campaign to replace it with a
Republicans view the law as excessive government intrusion into the
healthcare market. They argue that the system is broken anyway and
that they will help more people gain coverage by repealing the law
while working to minimize disruptions to those who depend on it.
"Obamacare has been an unlawful failure and further illustrates the
need to focus on patient care", White House spokesman Judd Deere was
quoted as saying by the Washington Post after Thursday's filing.
"The American people deserve for Congress to work on a bipartisan
basis with the president to provide quality, affordable care."
The Trump administration's filing was made in support of a challenge
to the ACA by a coalition of Republican governors.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by John
Stonestreet, Andrew Cawthorne and Jon Boyle)
[© 2020 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2020 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.