The Trump administration has told a federal appeals court it wants the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, an outcome that could leave millions uninsured and revive a winning political issue for Democrats, the AP reports. The administration, in a terse filing Monday with the court in New Orleans, said the entire health care law should be struck down as unconstitutional after Congress repealed its unpopular fines on people who remain uninsured. That position is at odds with previous statements by leading congressional Republicans who said they did not intend to repeal other parts of the law when they cut out its fines, effective this year. It's also a departure from the administration's earlier stance in a lower court.
There, it had argued that only federal protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and limits on premiums charged to older, sicker people should be struck down. "Donald Trump and Republicans are obsessed with taking health care away from millions of Americans," Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement Tuesday. "It is an indisputable fact that the Affordable Care Act has saved lives, and Democrats will do everything in our power to protect it." The Justice Department did not explain its reasoning in a two-sentence letter to the court, but promised a full and timely explanation for the appeals judges. The case brought by Texas and a group of GOP-led states seems headed for the Supreme Court.