Trump Sides With Texas, Won't Defend Obamacare in Court

The Trump administration, in a late-Thursday court filing, stated that it would no longer defend provisions of the health care law, known as Obamacare, that require people to have health insurance and guarantee access to health insurance regardless of any medical conditions, the Associated Press reported. The Justice Department reportedly also wants to repeal limits on insurance costs based on gender and age.

Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, the lawsuit said that without the individual mandate, Obamacare in its entirety was unlawful.

Despite the Justice Department position, the Health and Human Services Department has continued to apply the health law. Cortez ScottBishop from royal wedding marches to White House Bishop from royal wedding to march against "America First" policies in DC Supreme Court upholds agreements that prevent employee class-action suits MORE (Va.), Frank Pallone Jr.

The chances for that argument succeeding are viewed with deep skepticism by legal experts, in part because Congress itself indicated that the rest of ObamaCare could still stand without the mandate when it moved to repeal the tax penalty past year.

The Justice Department thus claims that the individual mandate is unconstitutional as of January 1.

"The individual mandate thus still exists, but it will no longer be fairly possible to describe it as a tax because it will no longer generate any revenue", the Justice Department said in its brief on Thursday.

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections, such as guaranteed issue and community rating rules, that help those with pre-existing conditions", AHIP said in a statement.

What do other states say?

California and 15 other states filed an opposing brief on Thursday defending the law. A definitive court ruling "could be months away" according to The New York Times, with appeals lasting many more. They say the rest of the law is not able to be separated from the mandate, and therefore should also be overturned.

"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).