Feds won’t defend ACA lawsuit

Feds won’t defend ACA lawsuit

The federal Department of Justice argued that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that a court should strike down the law’s protections for pre-existing conditions in a brief filed Thursday.

Twenty states filed a lawsuit in February saying the entire law was unconstitutional since Congress approved a tax law that zeroes out the penalty associated with the individual mandate. The court hearing the case has allowed a group of Democratic attorneys general from Illinois and other states to intervene and defend the law.

In their brief, the Department of Justice argues that the individual mandate “cannot be severed” from pre-existing condition protections as well as the ACA’s community-rating provisions.

“The remainder of the ACA, however, can stand despite the invalidation of those provisions,” the brief stated.

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