Trump, healthcare groups respond to ruling on ACA's individual mandate

A federal appeals court ruled the ACA's individual mandate unconstitutional Dec. 18, a decision President Donald Trump considers "a win for all Americans," though not all healthcare stakeholders feel the same optimism.

"Today's decision in Texas v. Azar is a win for all Americans and confirms what I have said all along: that the individual mandate, by far the worst element of Obamacare, is unconstitutional," the president said in a Dec. 18 statement.

President Trump underscored that nothing will change as a result of this decision. "My Administration continues to work to provide access to high-quality healthcare at a price you can afford, while strongly protecting those with preexisting conditions," he said.

The Trump administration has issued support for invalidating the entire ACA on the basis that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. This would eliminate the provisions that protect insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

Given the risk of losing protections for people with preexisting conditions, some healthcare groups did not agree that the court's decision was a win. "Because of the ACA, 20 million people have health insurance, millions with preexisting conditions have access to the care they need and new and innovative models of care have been launched. This wrong-headed decision puts all of that and more in jeopardy," Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement.

The American Medical Association issued a similar statement of concern. "Today's decision leaves important health insurance protections shrouded in uncertainty despite overwhelming public support for these policies," AMA President Patrice Harris, MD, said.


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