APA Criticizes Trump Administration's Latest Move to Overturn ACA
The Trump Administration’s recent decision not to protect any part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a federal case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA places the health care of millions of Americans at risk, say APA and five of its medical coalition partners in a statement released today.
The statement was in response to a legal filing Monday by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the case Texas v. United States, in which the DOJ supports a December 2018 court ruling that the ACA is unconstitutional and argues that the entire law should be invalidated.
“The DOJ’s new position, if accepted by the courts, would endanger not only essential protections for persons with preexisting conditions but other programs that millions of Americans depend on to ensure their access to affordable health care,” APA and the other medical groups said. “These include federal funding for Medicaid expansion, premium subsidies to make coverage affordable in the individual market, and the ban on annual and lifetime limits on coverage. In addition, insurers would no longer be required to cover essential health care such as maternity care, pediatric services, cancer screenings, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder treatments.”
The five other organizations that signed onto the statement are the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, and American Osteopathic Association. Together, the organizations represent a membership of more than 560,000 physicians and medical students.
The DOJ ruling surprised many, with a more definitive repudiation of the ACA than the administration had previously ventured in the case.
The ACA ensures access to affordable health care for more than 130 million Americans, including the more than 31 million individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 who have at least one preexisting condition. Legal experts anticipate that the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the Texas lawsuit will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
“We strongly urge the administration to reverse its position in Texas v. United States, and even if it does not do so, we hope and expect that the appellate courts consider the impact on patients and rule against overturning the law,” the medical groups said.