Trump tees up a health care fight with an uncertain outcome

But some cases are going against him, and time is not on his side as he tries to score a big win for his re-election campaign. Asked if he, like President Trump, wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Sanders noted his health care plan is profoundly different from what the White House and its Republican allies in Congress envision.

A separate Trump administration rule expanding the duration of another type of health plan that bypasses the law's requirements, short-term insurance plans, also faces a lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit. At the urging of the White House, the Justice Department said this past week it will support the Texas judge's position and argue that all of "Obamacare" must go.

Pressed for more details, the self-described Democratic socialist and 2020 presidential candidate did not outline a concrete plan to achieve his latest campaign pledge.

"Was this a good week for the Trump administration?" "So we're going to get rid of Obamacare and I said it the other day: The Republican Party will become the party of great health care. That's Trump's health insurance plan", he added. If the ruling is upheld by higher courts, about 20 million Americans could lose healthcare coverage on Trump's watch.

Under the rule, businesses and individuals can team up to create group health plans that offer less expensive coverage without complying with numerous requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

"The ACA now is nine years old and it would be incredibly disruptive to uproot the whole thing", said Thomas Barker, an attorney with the law firm Foley Hoag, who served as a top lawyer at the federal Health and Human Services department under former Republican President George W. Bush.

"Right now, it's losing in court", he asserted Friday, referring to the Texas case against "Obamacare". He said every replacement plan included protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

"Indeed, as the President directed, and the Secretary of Labor confirmed, the Final Rule was created to expand access to AHPs in order to avoid the most stringent requirements of the ACA", he wrote, using the acronym for the 2010 health care law.

New York, 10 other states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging the Association Health Plan rule. According to a report in Axios, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the minority leader in the House, told Trump over the phone that his renewed fight against the Affordable Care Act "made no sense" in light of the fact that Democrats successfully fended off multiple GOP attempts to repeal the law in 2017. The judge questioned whether the requirements were compatible with Medicaid's central goal of providing "medical assistance" to low-income people. Bureau officials did not immediately know what the impact of Bates' ruling would be on their plan, said Rob Robertson, the bureau's chief administrator.


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