Capitol Correspondence - 05.04.19

Trump Administration Lays Down Legal Case for Overturning ACA

Share this page

ANCOR is sharing this article by CNN because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) are considered a pre-existing condition. ANCOR members support people with I/DD.

As written by CNN:

“The Trump administration offered its first full argument Wednesday for its reversal on the Affordable Care Act, arguing in new court filings that the entire law ‘should not be allowed to remain in effect.’

The government argues in the filings that the so-called ‘individual mandate’ requiring Americans to have coverage is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law should therefore also be struck down, even if the government ‘might support some individual provisions as a policy matter.’


The landmark legislation provides health care coverage to millions of Americans.

In the filing, Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt acknowledged that the administration had previously argued that parts of the law could remain in effect even if the individual mandate were struck down, but he said, the administration had come to believe it could no longer defend that position. He suggested that rewriting the statute by ‘picking and choosing which provisions to invalidate’ would interfere with the role of Congress and the ‘proper course’ for the courts would be to strike down the law in its entirety.


The case challenging the law is brought by 18 Republican state attorneys general and governors, as well as two individuals. They argued that Congress effectively eliminated the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 as part of the 2017 tax cut bill. The mandate requires nearly all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty.


California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 20 Democratic states, stepped in to defend the law when the administration declined to do so, arguing not only that the individual mandate remains constitutional but that even if it were struck down the rest of the law could stand. Becerra called the district court opinion an ‘assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions.’”