On Thursday June 7, the Trump Administration argued in Federal court that the Affordable Care Act’s provisions that protect those with pre-existing medical conditions from being discriminated against by insurers should be struck down, putting the U.S. Department of Justice’s legal weight behind another attempt to destroy Americans’ health care protections under the law.
The Republican Party leadership in Congress tried and failed repeatedly last year to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which remains the law of the land thanks to massive grassroots protests across the country and united resistance by Democrats in Congress.
If the ACA's provisions mandating guaranteed issue and modified community rating in the individual market are struck down, 3.8 million New Jerseyans and 133 million Americans with health conditions including diabetes, asthma, cancer, and pregnancy would face the prospect of losing access to health insurance or coverage for their chief healthcare needs if
and when they need to rely on the individual market.
The administration’s legal move is the latest in a series of sabotage efforts against the programs and protections created by the Affordable Care Act, which include massive cuts to federal funding for advertising and enrollment assistance, cutoff of federal reimbursement to insurers for the cost-sharing subsidies they are mandated to provide to qualifying ACA marketplace enrollees, zeroing out the individual mandate, and proposed new regulations to promote sale of lightly regulated plans that lack the ACA’s core consumer protections.
Whether or not the new attack on the Affordable Care Act succeeds in the courts, the Department of Justice’s extraordinary intervention against existing federal law will alarm insurers, prompting further premium spikes on top of those driven by effective repeal of the individual mandate, and possibly market exits.
Just as the Republican Party’s leadership has continued to push a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in Congress, it has given broad support to Trump’s efforts to reshape our Federal courts by appointing right-wing judges who may be willing to strike down or cripple the ACA on the flimsiest legal pretexts.
Americans can’t afford to return to the days when insurance companies could charge you more or deny you coverage because you were sick or were a woman. This November, if we fail to elect a strong Democratic majority to Congress, we can expect an immediate increase of the attacks on our healthcare from Donald Trump.
BlueWaveNJ supports the “Undo Sabotage and Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018” [HR 5155], sponsored by New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone as a first step to standing up for our protections under the Affordable Care Act and continuing to expand access to quality affordable healthcare for New Jerseyans and Americans everywhere.
We urge all New Jersey voters to ask themselves the following question about each candidate running for a House or Senate seat this November: Can I count on this candidate to stand up to Donald Trump and his attacks on our healthcare?