Association health plan ruling puts some companies in limbo

Spencer Underwood
April 3, 2019

"Was this a good week for the Trump administration?" Note, however, that it was considerations much like these that kept Republicans from settling on a health-care plan during the Obama administration: They did not want to take responsibility for legislation they had no way to enact.

But Trump has been obstinate in the face of those political warning signs, instead concerned that repealing and replacing Obamacare remains the one signature 2016 campaign promise he has yet to make good on.

The Texas ruling came after the Justice Department, under the direction of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, argued that the community rating rule and the guaranteed issue requirement - protections for people with pre-existing conditions - could not be defended but the rest of the law, popularly known as Obamacare, could stand.

"Right now in the Texas court - probably ends up in the Supreme Court", Trump told reporters on Friday.

The publication reports that it is the president himself who is behind the effort, following inside coverage last week that the decision was a product of a bitter internal fight that split acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney from two cabinet secretaries.


Sisters and Tea Party members of Atlanta, Georgia, Judy Burel (L) and Janis Haddon (R), protest the Obamacare in front of the U.S. Supreme Court March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Bates' ruling comes after an intense week in the courts for the administration's health care policies. All sides expect the case to go to the Supreme Court, which has twice before upheld the ACA.

"The Association Health Plan rule opened healthcare options for dozens of associations representing thousands of small businesses and sole proprietors and provided them with access to the same type of care options offered by other employers", the spokesman continued. The judge questioned whether the requirements were compatible with Medicaid's central goal of providing "medical assistance" to low-income people.

The administration said it disagrees but hasn't formally announced an appeal.

Today, debates over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, continue.

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