The COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge spike in layoffs, leaving tens of millions of Americans without the employer-sponsored health insurance that had protected their families.
President Trump on Saturday reiterated a vow to protect those with pre-existing conditions after his administration asked the Supreme Court this week to strike down ObamaCare, Republicans' latest move to dismantle the health care law.
"No further analysis is necessary; once the individual mandate and the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions are invalidated, the remainder of the ACA can not survive", the Justice Department stated in its brief.
The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to wipe out Obamacare, arguing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must be struck down with it.
"Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the A.C.A.to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions", Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco wrote in the brief, joined by Republican officials in 18 states. "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 White House has generally sided with the Texas-led group of Republican state attorneys generals who advocate repealing the law, while a group of California-led Democratic attorney generals and the House of Representatives are upholding the law.
Biden called on the president and administration for trying to end the Affordable Care Act during his health-focused speech Thursday in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Oddly, the Trump brief argues most forcefully against the insurance reforms created to protect people with preexisting conditions - the people Trump insists he cares about, despite Republicans' multiple efforts to expose them to higher costs. The administration's previous attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare failed multiple times in Congress despite Trump's repeated campaign promise to kill the law.
Although Americans are still divided over the 2010 law, health care concerns are consistently ranked as one of the top issues for voters, and voters instead, in particular, according to surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
"Amid an unprecedented health crisis, the Trump Administration and Republican leaders are doubling down on their attacks on the Affordable Care Act".
The Supreme Court could examine the case from October for a decision which would come after the presidential election in November in which health issues are a major issue. "Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities".