Due to Tax Reform, Department of Justice won’t Defend Parts of Affordable Care Act

Late last week, the Trump Administration through the Department of Justice said they would not defend key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The move may jeopardize protections for pre-existing conditions. Their decision came in a lawsuit brought by Republican-led states. North Dakota is involved. The DOJ filing was met with concern by Congressional Democrats and silence from most Congressional Republicans.

Heading deeper into the midterm election, Republican candidates have tried to move on from their failed effort to repeal the ACA. The secrecy and confusion on display from Congress during that debate showed the nation that those past votes to repeal ACA were merely “symbolic” as Congressman Kevin Cramer described. Their “replacement” over those years lacked substance. It was the proverbial dog catching the car, now that they caught it they didn’t know what to do with it.

Instead of talking about health care, Republicans are hoping to focus on their tax reform. Here is the thing, they can’t talk about tax reform without talking about healthcare. In their rush to pass something, anything, in their first year in total control of Washington, Republicans included the elimination of the penalty for the individual mandate in the ACA. The elimination of that provision had ripple effects throughout the individual market and ultimately is responsible for the DOJ decision last week. They own it.

The provisions DOJ says should be invalidated are central to the ACA and would gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Arianne de Vogue and Tami Luhby, CNN

Healthcare has been a central issue for Republican candidates in elections since the ACA passed. Their silence on this maneuver from the Trump administration before another election is telling. Perhaps it is because they realize in their haste, they are responsible for this possibility.

Tyler Axness
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