Cities sue administration over ACA policy

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at joanne@healthjournalism.org. Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: Marylandstater – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. en:Image:1city hall baltimore.jpg, Public Domain, Link

The latest in the Affordable Care Act legal battles: U.S. cities suing President Trump and top health officials at HHS for sabotage.

The suit, filed Aug. 2 by Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago and Columbus, plus two people from Charlottesville, Va., (which has some of the highest ACA insurance premiums in the country) accuses the administration of “intentionally and unconstitutionally” undermining the ACA, including by expanding non-ACA plans and discouraging enrollment. They argue that administration actions to harm the law (see more on what they’ve done here)  have led to higher premiums and less consumer choice.

The cities say they have been hurt by the administration, because of the rising numbers of uninsured people and higher health care costs. The cities end up picking up the bill for uncompensated care. It asks the courts to order HHS to reverse a number of its actions and shore up the ACA, for instance, by doing a lot more to encourage enrollment. But it’s an unusual legal approach, and it’s not at all certain it will succeed.

More (including a more detailed technical legal discussion) from Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms here. And a Reuters story from Nate Raymond here.

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