- Twenty states are suing the federal government with a new claim, that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional now that the individual mandate penalty will be removed in 2019.
- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA years ago with the stipulation that the coverage requirement was a tax penalty. The Republican attorneys general are now arguing that with the penalty zeroed out in the tax overhaul legislation passed at the end of last year, the mandate cannot be enforced and the law is unconstitutional.
- With the ACA still the law of the land despite several repeal attempts last year, opponents continue efforts to chip away at the act and weaken it.
The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the ACA completely, but the states will have to prove they have standing before any meaningful action can happen in court. The ACA has survived more than a few court challenges before, but the courts have changed the law somewhat from its original intent. For example, the Supreme Court ruled Medicaid expansion had to be optional for states.
The Trump administration, meanwhile, continues its efforts to undermine the ACA.
Last week, the administration released a proposed rule to expand short-term health plans from a three-month duration to a full year. These plans do not have to meet ACA requirements like providing essential health benefits and protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
Also, the administration has stopped paying cost-sharing payments to insurers and sought to hamper open enrollment by cutting the enrollment period in half and slashing its advertising budget.