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While unexpected, court filing turns up the heat.


In a May 1 federal appeals court filing, the Trump Administration formally argued that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional and should be struck down in its entirety. The filing signals the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) intent to terminate the ACA. The administration’s position has been clear since a March court filing wherein the DOJ reversed their prior position, which had indicated that, while they believe the ACA was unconstitutional, many of the law’s requirements should remain intact. Now, the Trump Administration is arguing that the ACA should be thrown out, and all the law’s provisions eliminated. If the courts were to strike down the legislation, this would impact the health insurance of approximately 20 million Americans.

Not surprisingly, the Democrats' response was fast and furious, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi describing the DOJ move as another attempt by Republicans to “destroy pre-existing condition protections and Americans’ access to affordable health care.”

This court battle — and the likely Supreme Court fight that will follow — aren’t going to be settled in the short term. Also, this move by the DOJ was not unexpected. The debate over American health care, and the ACA, will continue to take center stage in the 2020 election and the media headlines for the foreseeable future.

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