ACA Repeal Back in News: Trump Administration supports District Court’s decision to invalidate ACA, but then gets bucked by ACA rulings

From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG

This week, on Monday, March 25th, the U.S. Department of Justice officially weighed in support of a December 2018 Texas district court’s ruling invalidating the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Back in September 2018, ACG informed you of the lawsuit filed in Texas by 20 state attorneys general. The lawsuit was based upon Congress’ decision in 2017 to effectively repeal the ACA’s “individual mandate,” by zeroing-out the penalty for not having health insurance, as a part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The state attorneys argued that the ACA should now be deemed unconstitutional, pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale for upholding the ACA in 2012, holding that the individual mandate intrinsically links the other parts of the ACA.  On December 14, 2018, the TX court agreed, and ruled that because the individual mandate was effectively repealed and is considered an intrinsic piece of the ACA, the entire law should be deemed unconstitutional as a result.

Then, on Wednesday, March 27th, the D.C. district court ruled that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) support of Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas violate the program's primary goal of delivering health care coverage to low-income Americans.

On Thursday, March 28th, the D.C. district court then held that HHS violated the ACA via the agency’s efforts to expand the availability of “association health plans” that do not meet the coverage rules.

The ACA has once again become a hot political issue.  ACG will continue to advocate for GI practices and our patients as important issues including state Medicaid expansion, coverage protections for pre-existing conditions, and preventive care are once again under threat of repeal.

ACG Governors in Washington D.C. next week: Important local issues impacting your area? Contact your ACG Governor!

ACG Governors and leaders advocating on the Hill last April for the 2018 Board of Governors Fly-In

ACG Governors and other ACG members will meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill next week as part of the 2019 ACG Board of Governors Washington D.C. Fly-In and Spring Meeting.  We will be there to advocate on your behalf!

The ACG Board of Governors is one of the most unique aspects of the American College of Gastroenterology. Governors are ACG Fellows that are elected from the membership of a particular state or region. There are currently 77 Governors across seven different regions in the U.S. and abroad. The Board of Governors acts as a two-way conduit between College leadership and the membership at-large. This helps the College make certain it is meeting the evolving needs of the membership.