Call your Members of Congress and make it damn clear to all three that you support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and you support the 16 state attorneys general (plus the District of Columbia) who are countersuing to defend it.
Having failed to get Congress to kill the ACA, the Trump administration is trying a ridiculous, bullshit move. On June 7, the Department of Justice stated it would not defend the law against a suit brought by 20 state attorneys general.
To quote from a June 7, 2018 story in the Washington Post:
In a brief filed in a Texas federal court and an accompanying letter to the House and Senate leaders of both parties, the Justice Department agrees in large part with the 20 Republican-led states that brought the suit. They contend that the ACA provision requiring most Americans to carry health insurance soon will no longer be constitutional and that, as a result, consumer insurance protections under the law will not be valid, either.
Full story is here:
The same night, Topher Spiro, who has done consistently great work with defending the ACA, CHIP, and GOP assaults on health care, tweeted the following:
Trump’s Justice Department just refused to defend the ACA and asked a court to invalidate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Luckily, Democratic states have intervened and will defend the law.
This is an open and shut case. It is frivolous, a truly wacko claim. Texas argues that because Congress repealed the individual mandate, the pre-existing condition protections must also go. Congress obviously disagreed.
The judge is right-wing and unpredictable. So he could very well strike down the protections. But the circuit court would reverse.
This development is important because 1) Trump is thoroughly politicizing the DOJ and refusing to defend the law of the land and 2) this creates some degree of uncertainty that contributes to GOP sabotage.
Three respected career DOJ attorneys withdrew from the case in protest just before this brief was filed. That tells you how politicized this is. This is a political attack on the ACA and people with pre-existing conditions.
I don’t believe people should worry too much about this court case. Nothing we can do about it anyway. I believe people should worry about repeal if they keep the House. THAT we can do something about.
One thing is clear: Trump made a BIG mistake attacking pre-existing condition protections tonight. He may have awakened a sleeping giant.
Conservative constitutional law scholar
@jadler1969 (who believed the individual mandate was unconstitutional!) says this latest case is “cynical-squared” and “absurd” =>
…and he cited these two Adler tweets, one a main tweet, one a reply:
The problem with the Trump Administration’s response to the latest ACA suit is not its refusal to defend the mandate so much as its adoption of problematic (and quite cynical) approach to severability.
Then the arguments here are cynical-squared. No matter how one conceives of severability doctrine, the underlying premise here is absurd.
…Back to Topher Spiro. He cited the fact that 16 other state attorneys general, plus the District of Columbia, had filed a countersuit. And while he did state he felt people shouldn’t worry about the court case, he did recommend that folks call their MoCs:
The average number of people with pre-existing conditions is about 300,000 per congressional district. Find your district. Get the number. Hold Republicans accountable.
We agree with him. Even though he’s right, and legal scholars from across the spectrum affirm that the state AGs’ anti-ACA lawsuit is wack (scroll down for a link), we at OTYCD think it’s worth it to call your MoCs and make it completely and utterly clear that You Are Not On Board With This Shit.
Suggested script: “Hello (Senator/House Rep Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname of town, zip code). I realize this is a Department of Justice matter at the moment but I wanted to call and make it absolutely clear that I support the Affordable Care Act and I oppose any attempt to undercut it or its key provisions. The lawsuit that was brought by the 20 state attorneys general, and which the DOJ has essentially backed by refusing to enforce the law, is crap. Most legal scholars agree that it’s crap. But if the DOJ does not wise up and do the right thing, there is a chance that the suit will advance, and the protections the ACA grants to people with pre-existing conditions will be threatened.
It’s estimated that at least 52 million non-elderly Americans have pre-existing conditions. If you don’t have one, you love someone who does. We cannot go back to the bad old days when health insurers would only cover you without bankrupting you if you’d never been sick in your life, at all, ever. That would be cruel and insane. And I am putting you on notice: If any representative of mine votes to cripple or kill the ACA, I will work to throw that person out of office. Thank you for listening.”
Follow Topher Spiro on Twitter:
Read a June 8, 2018 Vox piece in which a range of legal scholars smack down the anti-ACA lawsuit that the DOJ is rolling over for:
Read a June 8, 2018 piece from the Washington Post that claims that 52 million Americans younger than 65 have pre-existing conditions and would be hurt if the ACA is destroyed:
Read yet another June 8, 2018 piece on California AG Xavier Becerra leading a countersuit to defend the ACA: