Carper Statement on Trump Administration’s Reckless Efforts to Invalidate the Entire Affordable Care Act

Major shift from DOJ would include eliminating protections for pre-existing conditions, undoing Medicaid expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement blasting the Department of Justice’s support of a federal judge’s ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down. Late Monday night, three political appointees at the Department of Justice wrote to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stating that the Trump Administration has determined that a lower court’s ruling in Texas v. United States – which called for the entire health care law to be invalidated – should be upheld. If the decision is upheld, tens of millions of Americans would lose their health care coverage, including patients with pre-existing conditions, young adults under the age of 26 who have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan and the millions of Americans who gained health care coverage thanks to Medicaid expansion.

“Apparently, two years of constant attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and rip health care away from millions of Americans isn’t enough for the Trump Administration. Last night, the Department of Justice went even further and asked a court to invalidate the entire health care law.

“Make no mistake: doing so would eliminate protections for the nearly 400,000 Delawareans living with pre-existing conditions. It would kick young people under the age of 26 off their parents’ health insurance plans. It would undo Medicaid expansion that has allowed millions of Americans to access health care for the first time. It would eliminate financial assistance that helps millions of families afford their coverage. It would raise Medicare costs for seniors. It would also cripple efforts to lower drug prices and address our country’s opioid crisis.

“You would think that President Trump had learned his lesson by now. These smart, effective provisions in the Affordable Care Act improve health outcomes, help to keep costs down and are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. His administration’s latest attempt to take health care away from millions – still with absolutely no replacement plan – is not only legally questionable, it is wrong.

“In the days and weeks leading up to the election last year, many of my Republican colleagues liked to say that they supported protections for 130 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions. I’ll admit that I was skeptical. After all, many of them had voted to repeal those very protections 70 times with no replacement. Others had joined in a lawsuit to eliminate pre-existing condition protections. Well, now the time for rhetoric is over, and my Republican colleagues can prove what side they’re on.

“Democrats in Congress have made it clear time and time again – as have the American people – that we will not stand for these reckless attacks. It’s clear that our fight is not over. We will continue working today, tomorrow and every day to protect the health care on which millions of lives depend.”