Trump administration asks Supreme Court to invalidate entirety of Obamacare law

DOJ filing says law has illegally limited consumer choices, raised costs and should be struck down because the individual mandate requirement is unconstitutional.

Updated: June 26, 2020 - 10:26am

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In a dramatic election-year request, the Trump administration Thursday night asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the Obamacare law, saying it wrongly limits consumer choices, raises Americans costs and violates the Constitution.

In a closely-watched filing, the Justice Department told the justices that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate violated the Constitution, and if that provision is struck down, the rest of the law must be terminated.

"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 administration's brief argued.

In identifying harm to American consumers, the DOJ cited two of the law's least popular impacts among critics: rising costs and fewer insurance choices.

"The individual plaintiffs have shown that they are injured by at least some ACA provisions—namely, various provisions regulating health-insurance plans that limit the 14 range and terms of plans the individual plaintiffs may obtain and that increase their costs of obtaining coverage," the government argued.

The filing, as expected, lays out President Trump's arguments against the law as he heads into a fall election against Joe Biden. Democrats immediately expressed dismay at the course chosen by the administration, saying striking down the law would cost up to 20 million Americans their insurance in the middle of a pandemic.

“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," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

You can read the entire brief here.