In a late-night move Thursday, the Trump administration has once again urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
More than 20 million Americans rely on Obamacare for healthcare.
The move is amid record-high unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected nearly 2.5 million Americans and killed more than 124,000.
In the late-night briefing, the Justice Department petitioned the court to overturn Obamacare, saying that the overturning of the individual mandate — a penalty for not having health insurance that was repealed by a Republican-led Congress in the 2017 tax bill — invalidated the entire law.
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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
In the late-night briefing, the Justice Department petitioned the court to overturn Obamacare, saying that the overturning of the individual mandate — a tax penalty for not having health insurance that was struck from the law by a Republican-led Congress in 2017 — invalidated the entire law.
“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 Department of Justice said in a statement to Politico.
The administration’s latest high court filing came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov.
On Thursday, the US saw yet another record single-day rise in cases, with 39,327 new coronavirus infections reported across the country. The Trump administration’s legal brief makes no mention of the virus.
Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration in a case that won’t be heard before the fall.
In the case before the Supreme Court, Texas and other conservative-led states argue that the ACA was essentially rendered unconstitutional after Congress passed tax legislation in 2017 that eliminated the law’s unpopular fines for not having health insurance but left in place its requirement that virtually all Americans have coverage.
After failing to repeal Obamacare in 2017 when Republicans fully controlled Congress, President Donald Trump has put the weight of his administration behind the legal challenge.
Texas led 19 states arguing that the individual mandate — the requirement that everyone must have health insurance — is unconstitutional, after Congress gutted the key portion of the mandate, the tax penalty for not buying coverage.
In December of 2018, US District Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas agreed with those states and ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional. Because the mandate is an essential part of the ACA in the judge’s view, that led him to rule that the entire health law should be struck down.
Democratic-led states appealed the decision to the Supreme Court earlier this year.
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Source:: Business Insider