Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed his name onto the 20-state lawsuit as one of the plaintiffs in the case that, if successful, would gut pre-existing condition protections enshrined in the Affordable Care Act.
In a federal court case filed by Texas and 19 other states against the ACA, the Justice Department filed a brief on Thursday that dubbed unconstitutional the Obamacare requirement for all Americans to have insurance.
The president past year issued an executive order directing federal agencies to make it easier to buy two alternatives to Affordable Care Act plans. Now they have a new talking point, and they lost no time testing it. "We are a country of laws, and the law must be respected, defended and enforced regardless of the person occupying the Oval Office", the senators wrote.
"Both sides, Democrats and Republicans, are using the people as political pawns".
"There's some hope that they will prevail", Stanford said. It's unlikely that the entire law will be struck down. "Picking this fight going into the summer of an election year is mind-boggling".
If the judge agrees, "insurers would want to discontinue" health plans that treat healthy and sick customers the same, predicted Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week, 22 percent of respondents said it would be the most important factor in deciding their vote, ahead of the economy, guns, taxes and immigration.
"This is yet another malicious Republican attack that will undermine the stability of our healthcare system, and could once again mean that you or a loved one are denied healthcare because of a pre-existing condition", said Meredith Kelly, the communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY urged President Donald Trump to reverse the decision. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., a spokesman for his party on health care. On Friday, Democratic members of the House of Representatives were furious.
She cited a report from health care think tank Kaiser Family Foundation that estimates more than 52 million Americans have pre-existing health problems that would "likely leave them uninsurable" if it weren't for the Affordable Care Act's regulations.
Attempts to repeal it in Congress have failed, but opponents of the law have also filed scores of lawsuits challenging various provisions.
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But Congress repealed the tax penalty for people without insurance a year ago, and the individual mandate can no longer be described as a tax when the repeal takes effect in January, the brief says.
The lawsuit argues that with the mandate to purchase insurance still technically in place, but the financial penalty for those who don't abide by it being removed beginning in 2020, Congress' taxing power no longer applies to the provision, leaving it unconstitutional.
That penalty, Texas and the other conservative states argue, is so central to the law that without it, the rest can not stand.
If a federal judge in Texas agrees with the Department of Justice's (DOJ) move to not defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of Americans could lose their healthcare coverage or face higher premiums for having preexisting conditions, a legal professor wrote Friday in a blog post for The Commonwealth Fund.
If the administration prevails in the case, the full force of the decision would not hit until after the midterm elections on November 6.
"At the very least it adds uncertainty at exactly the moment when plans are trying to set rates for next year", said Ceci Connolly, the chief executive of the Alliance of Community Health Plans. Before the ACA passed, insurers commonly refused coverage for people with cancer, heart failure, diabetes, arthritis and even less serious conditions.
The main trade association for health insurers came out strongly against the administration's position.
Regardless of the federal court's ruling-which observers said may come by late summer or early fall-New York state law now protects consumers from such actions by insurers.
"The goal of Texas' lawsuit is to leave Americans without health insurance, forcing them to choose between their health and other needs", says California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
"I urge Congressman MacArthur publicly demands that President Trump defends protections for pre-existing conditions and upholds the ACA immediately, so our premiums and medical bills don't skyrocket even further", Kim said in a statement responding to Thursday's decision.