Politics

Barr Says Justice Department Will Back Trumps Push to Overturn Obamacare

Attorney General William Barr said that the Justice Department will take the same position as the President in urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

Barr made the comments during an interview with CBSs Catherine Herridge on Thursday when he was asked to share his position on the Trump administrations push to overturn Obamacare.

“We had an opportunity, all the stakeholders in the administration, to discuss this, and the Department is going to be taking the position as the president states,” Barr told Herridge.

The ACA is currently being challenged in a pair of appeals that reached the Supreme Court earlier this year. The top court in March agreed to take up one of the requests—the one by Democratic-led states—which asked the justices to review a decision from a lower court that found a key tenet, known as the “individual mandate,” of the ACA unconstitutional.

The House of Representatives also filed a similar appeal in early January asking the court to review the lower courts decision.

The House and Democratic-led states said the courts consideration is necessary because of the uncertainty the lower courts decision has on health insurance and the health care marketplace, as well as for millions of Americans who have purchased coverage under Obamacare (pdf).

The Trump administration, which has declined to defend the ACA, has, on the other hand, asked the Supreme Court to not take up the cases because the district court hasnt yet decided on the question of severability. It said that the court should defer a review of the decision until after the case has completed its proceedings in the lower courts.

The Supreme Court will hear the case next term, which begins in the fall.

Trump and Republicans have taken steps to weaken the ACA in an effort to ultimately repeal and replace the Obama-era law with more lower-cost options. They say the ACA represented government overreach and increased the cost of health care. Meanwhile, Democrats have vowed to strengthen the law following the Republicans efforts to invalidate the law through this case.

On Wednesday, Trump doubled down on his vow to terminate the ACA, saying that it failed to live up to what it promises and is a “disaster.”

“Just so you understand, Obamacare is a disaster, but weve run it very well. And weve made it barely acceptable. It was a disaster under President Obama, and its very bad healthcare,” Trump said.

“What we want to do is terminate it and give great healthcare. And well have great healthcare, including preexisting conditions,” he added.

The administration is yet to unveil their plan to replace the ACA, a move which has attracted much criticism from Democrats. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar said earlier in the year that the Obamacare replacement proposal will not come until after thRead More From Source