House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on late Thursday, June 25, slammed the Trump administration after the Department of Justice filed a legal brief in the Supreme Court, asking the justices to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as “Obamacare.”
“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” Pelosi said in a statement.
In the brief, the Department of Justice argues that because the law’s requirement to have health insurance was upheld in court as a tax in 2012, and Congress has since repealed the financial penalty for violating that requirement, in 2017, it is no longer a tax and therefore no longer constitutional, The Hill reported.
The department also said that because this provision is invalid, the remainder of the ACA is so intertwined with this provision that the entire law should fall, too.
“The entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate, though the scope of relief entered in this case should be limited to provisions shown to injure the plaintiffs,” the department writes.
The legal filing makes official the Trump administration’s position against Obamacare in the Supreme Court.
In her reaction, Pelosi said that millions of Americans could lose their health coverage and protections if the high court agrees with the Trump administration in the case.
“If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely,” Pelosi said.
“There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ health care,” she continued.
The House speaker said that while the administration tries to tear away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Democrats are working to lower health costs and prescription drug prices for Americans. She said the House will pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act next week.