Dems sue to stop GOP-backed bill to dismantle ObamaCare
Democrats are suing the Republican-controlled Congress to block a Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act from becoming law.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Washington, is the latest sign of the growing resistance from liberal groups to the GOP effort to dismantle the health law.
Lawyers for Democrats, however, say the GOP’s proposal would gut protections for millions of Americans and impose harsh penalties on insurers, which critics say will force insurers to abandon coverage.
Democrats and health care advocates say the bill would leave millions without insurance and would create a system of “death panels” that would determine whether consumers receive benefits.
The American Health Care Act, a bipartisan bill that passed the House on May 28, would repeal and gut the federal Affordable Care and Job Protection Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and create a new national health care program, the Health Insurance Marketplace.
In its lawsuit, Democrats argue the GOP bill is an attempt to undermine the ACA, and they say Republicans have repeatedly promised they would not move forward with such legislation.
Democrats also say that if the bill becomes law, millions of people would lose coverage under the Trump administration’s health care overhaul.
They also say the law would drive up the cost of health care by forcing consumers to purchase coverage at a higher rate than before, and it would cut benefits for people who are already covered.
Republicans say they’re concerned that millions of enrollees in the individual market would not have access to affordable coverage under their plan, which is meant to lower costs.
But they argue that a failure to pass the bill could create chaos and lead to more uninsured people being forced to shop around for coverage in the face of rising premiums and deductibles.
If the Republican bill becomes effective, premiums for many would rise.
Under the GOP plan, if insurers do not lower premiums, people will still be charged a high premium rate, according to a senior GOP aide who asked not to be identified because the aide is not authorized to speak publicly.
Under the plan, many people would be able to keep their existing coverage but they would also be required to pay more for coverage they previously did not.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Republican plan would lead to 22 million more people losing health insurance by 2026.
Democrats have argued that repealing the ACA would cause an increase in the number of uninsured Americans and have called for a single-payer system to replace the ACA.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have said that is unrealistic and would take more time than is needed to repeal the ACA in its entirety.