20 states sued the federal government in February claiming the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The Trump administration refuses to defend the provision. This could lead to a loss of preexisting conditions protections.
Specifically, the lawsuit says that without the individual mandate the whole Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Also specifically, the Justice Department officially withdrew from the case (in general they are supposed to be bipartisan and defend acts of Congress, but at times this ends up not being the case, for example the Obama justice Department wouldn’t argue for the anti-LGBT Defense of Marriage Act).
With that covered, I would note that when you consider that Trump himself removed the mandate by executive order, it starts to feel a bit like this is all part of the overarching plan to break ObamaCare (the idea being if conservatives can’t pass repeal and replace in Congress, they will nip at the edges through the executive orders, states, and courts until it breaks).
The bottom line is that Trump and his justice department are making moves right now that could result in a court decision that says insurers don’t have to cover preexisting conditions and that they can charge more for them.
This move runs contrary to promises both Trump and the Republicans made to protect preexisting conditions. While this was expected by liberals, it might come as a shock to Trump’s base whose healthcare rights he promised to protect.
FOR MORE READING SEE: Trump Administration Move Imperils Pre-Existing Condition Protections. NPR.org.
BOTTOMLINE: Trump repealed the individual mandate by executive order. Shortly after 20 states joined together in a court case that charges that without the mandate the Affordable Care Act is illegal. Trump and his administration then stepped aside and refused to defend the Affordable Care Act. If the states win their case it could undo the Affordable Care Act including key protections like preexisting conditions protections. In this way Trump’s administration would have repealed the ACA through the court system and executive branch without having to go through Congress or replace the Affordable Care Act. This is yet another example of how Republicans are still implementing their ongoing plan to break ObamaCare.