The Trump administration says it wants to euthanize ObamaCare, not perform surgery on it. In a court filing Wednesday, the administration and a coalition of 18 Republican-led states formally asked a federal appeals court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, the New York Times reports. In the filing with the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, the administration explained that it had changed position after earlier seeking to strike down only parts of the law, reports the AP. The filing stated that the administration had reconsidered its position in light of US District Court Judge Reed O'Connor's bombshell ruling late last year that the entire law became unconstitutional when Congress repealed a tax penalty for Americans who failed to obtain health insurance.
Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt argued in the filing that rewriting the law by "picking and choosing which provisions to invalidate" would interfere with the role of Congress, so the courts should strike down the law in its entirety. The conservative-leaning court will hear arguments in July, setting up a potential Supreme Court battle, CNN reports. Democratic leaders slammed the move, warning that killing ObamaCare would lead to an estimated 20 million Americans losing their health insurance. "There is no viable legal argument and no moral defense for the devastation the Trump administration is asking the court to inflict on Americans' health care," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Trump says Republicans are working on a much better alternative, but it won't be unveiled until after the 2020 election.)