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Trump administration asks top court to axe Obamacare

Over 20 mn Americans will lose health coverage if it agrees

As coronavirus cases rise in more than half of the states, President Donald Trump’s administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

The administration’s filing on Thursday came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov.

The administration’s legal brief makes no mention of the virus.

More than 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration in a case that won’t be heard before the fall.

“There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ health care,” she said in a statement.

Just as the nation seemed to be getting better control over the virus outbreak, states including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Texas are reporting a surge in cases. And more than half the states are seeing case increases.

Anger over problems with “Obamacare” was once a winning issue for Republicans, helping them gain control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. But the politics of the issue flipped after Mr. Trump failed to deliver in 2017 on his vow to “repeal and replace” the health law.

Democrats were energised by their successful defence of the ACA, and that contributed to their winning back the House.

In the case before the Supreme Court, Texas and other conservative-led states argue that the ACA was essentially rendered unconstitutional after Congress passed tax legislation in 2017 that eliminated the law’s unpopular fines for not having health insurance, but left in place its requirement that virtually all Americans have coverage.

Mr. Trump has put the weight of his administration behind the legal challenge.

If the health insurance requirement is invalidated, “then it necessarily follows that the rest of the ACA must also fall,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote on Thursday.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 12:45:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/trump-administration-asks-top-court-to-axe-obamacare/article31927171.ece

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