The Department of Justice has filed a motion calling for ObamaCare to be struck down in its entirety. The DOJ is siding with a federal district court that had ruled the individual mandate is unconstitutional in December, and is basing its new position on that ruling.
Previously the DOJ was focused on eliminating mandatory coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but under Attorney General William Barr the federal government’s position has now changed.
In a letter (below) to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals the DOJ states it “has determined that the district court’s judgement should be affirmed,” meaning it will not appeal the judge’s ruling declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional.
The DOJ’s letter in the affordable care act case in the Fifth Circuit. pic.twitter.com/VusbWx1aBM
— Raffi Melkonian (@RMFifthCircuit) March 26, 2019
“Because the U.S. is not urging the any portion of the district court’s judgement be reversed, the government intends to file a brief on the appellees’ schedule.”
A law professor weighs in:
“A ruling striking down the entire ACA would upend major parts of the health care system,” Axios reports, in reference to the motion. “Millions of people would lose their health care coverage, and a host of seemingly unrelated policies — including new experiments in how Medicare pays for care and an entire class of prescription drugs — would also go out the window.”
While this is not the immediate end to the Affordable Care Act, it is one step closer to its demise.
Some legal experts say the lawsuit, brought by 20 Republicans, mostly attorneys general, will not succeed. But with the DOJ refusing to defend the ACA, it’s unclear who is.