Utahn testifies before Congress, pleads to preserve the Affordable Care Act

Trump officials tell one court Obamacare is failing and another it’s thriving

Utahn testifies before Congress, pleads to preserve the Affordable Care Act

Lawyers from the Trump administration and a group of Republican states squared off against attorneys from a coalition of Democratic states and the House of Representatives in a New Orleans appeals court to argue the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday afternoon, in a video conference, Peters explained his opinion that ending the Affordable Care Act would be harmful to Michiganders, more than 4.1 million of which have a preexisting condition.

Letter argued that Congress in 2017 made clear it wants to keep most of Obamacare in place, even while zeroing out the mandate. Because the case is before one of the most conservative appellate courts in the country, it is nearly guaranteed to wind up in the Supreme Court.

The Democratic lawyers fighting to preserve the law argued that the Republican Congress had tried and failed to repeal the ACA two years ago and that by eliminating the penalty in late 2017 as part of broad tax changes, it had not touched any other parts of the sprawling statute.

Other Republican congressmen followed suit, bringing up the rising costs of health care since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, as well as other problems with the law.

Republican Attorneys General, led by Texas, filed the challenge to the ACA in February 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. But if the 5th Circuit rules in favor of the ACA, it's less likely the case would go before the high court, which has previously ruled in favor of the law in 2012 and 2015.

The hearing follows a controversial decision in December by a federal judge in Texas, who stunned many conservative and liberal legal experts by backing the lawsuit to invalidate the law.

"When President Trump declared the Republican Party will be the party of health care, everyone knew he's full of it", said Sen.

Weiser believes the individual mandate can still be upheld because a law can exist even though there are zero penalties. Romano said he only paid about $250 a month in health care insurance premiums before the ACA was implemented.

"Those same exchanges saw an increase in individual market insurers, compared to 2018, which means more consumer choices and healthier competition among issuers", the administration attorneys continued.

Notably, the Trump administration is not defending the law.

The costs of losing ACA protections for millions of Americans is "impossible to calculate but enormous", said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law school professor.

A strong undertow from the presidential campaign and an unpopular Trump and a national policy lurch to the far right - fueled by a Collins-approved Supreme Court - including the loss of health care for tens of thousands of Mainers would significantly undermine her case for re-election.

Last week, the President said he would issue an executive order mandating a policy in which US payments for drugs would be capped at the lowest price paid by either a manufacturer or a developed country.

Since the administration is not defending the law, Democratic attorneys general and members of the House are leading the appeal. They argue that the mandate remains constitutional and that the rest of the law, in any event, can stand without it.

"It's created to lay down the marker for protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions", he said, "and serve as a temporary stop gap in the event the ACA is overturned by the courts". On Tuesday, a three-judge panel held oral arguments in the case. The judges' decision could affect health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Senior residents have saved money on their Medicare protection and prescription drugs.

People can get free birth control, mammograms, and cholesterol checks. And it allows children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26. It is unclear how similar this policy will be to the administration's worldwide price index proposal which would cap US drug payments based on average of prices paid in an index of developed nations.

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