Democratic Health Leaders Respond to Trump Administration’s Attack on Access to Affordable Care and the Rule of Law
WASHINGTON, DC – Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ways and Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (MA-01), and Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement after the Department of Justice told a federal court that it will not defend the key patient protections in Affordable Care Act. The brief, filed yesterday in Texas v United States, breaks with the Department’s longstanding tradition of defending laws enacted by Congress regardless of whether it supports the underlying policies.
“The Justice Department’s refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act in federal court is a stunning attack on the rule of law, the stability of our health care system, and Americans’ access to affordable health care.
“The administration’s attempt to eliminate protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions is just the latest – and potentially the most damaging – example of the coordinated effort by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, driving up uninsured rates and out-of-pocket costs for Americans. Unfortunately, that effort will continue to have profound consequences for patients, the health care system, and the American economy.
“Our Constitution requires the executive branch to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress. The brief filed by the Trump administration yesterday represents a shocking break from precedent, and relies on legally dubious, partisan claims to argue against the constitutionality of the current law.
“If the Trump administration is successful in arguing against the constitutionality of protecting patients’ access to care, it will have immediate and disastrous effect on our health care system and the American people. But even if the Justice Department’s arguments fail, as they should, the administration’s violation of its duty to faithfully execute our nation’s laws will still raise the cost of health care for most Americans, undermine the economy, and weaken our democracy for years to come.”