Four major U.S. cities are suing President Trump and his administration for deliberately attempting to ensure the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fails, thus violating the president’s constitutional duty to execute laws faithfully under the Take Care Clause.
Representing 4.5 million Americans, the plaintiffs, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Columbus believe Trump’s “death-by-one-thousand-cuts campaign” is an act of sabotage against the ACA and the Americans who will become uninsured due to his executive actions, claiming they, “prevent families from obtaining health insurance through the ACA’s exchanges.”
The complaint was filed August 2, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. It argues that because the ACA is still very much policy for the American healthcare system and Congress has not yet repealed it, by law and under the constitution President Trump and his administration are required to uphold it–as with any other law.
The lawsuit uses a variety of the Trump administration’s previous and current actions to argue its case:
“Having campaigned on a promise to secure the ACA’s repeal but having failed to convince Congress to take that step, President Trump has turned to executive action alone to try to sabotage the law. Whereas the ACA is “designed to expand coverage in the individual health insurance market,” King v. Burwell, 135 S. Ct. 2480, 2485 (2015) (emphasis added), Defendants—by regulation, executive order, and otherwise—are obstructing individuals’ access to that market, purposefully attempting to destabilize it, laboring to increase insurance premiums and decrease enrollment, and using resources that Congress has provided to support the law in their blatant attempts to undermine it.”
They also offered several complaints regarding the administration’s agenda to limit the ACA’s reach and sabotaging the existing law by:
- Promoting insurance that does not comply with the ACA’s requirements, including insurance that does not cover preexisting conditions;
- Slashing funding for outreach strategies that have been proven to encourage individuals, and healthy individuals in particular, to sign up for coverage;
- Misusing federal funds for advertising campaigns aimed at smearing the ACA and its exchanges, and spinning false narratives about the efficacy and success of the Act;
- Providing individuals and families with less time to choose a plan that is appropriate for them; and
- Imposing unnecessary and onerous documentation requirements, making enrollment even harder.
Read the full complaint here.
Yale Law School professor and supporter of the ACA Abbe Gluck wrote an article on Vox last month highlighting the difficulty the plaintiffs will face to convince the court of its claim. She says cases arguing a president’s failure to faithfully execute laws can be a “tall order” because of the executive’s “broad discretion to implement the law.”
Read Gluck’s piece on Vox, here.
Check out The Hill’s article on the lawsuit,
Or visit Reuters to read more.