‘The administration should not attempt to use the courts to bypass Congress…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, warned Attorney General Bill Barr against supporting the Trump administration’s aggressive efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, writing in a letter that the health care law is Congress’s responsibility, not the Justice Department’s.
“Rather than seeking to have the courts invalidate the ACA, the proper route for the administration to pursue would be to propose changes to the ACA or to once again seek its repeal. The administration should not attempt to use the courts to bypass Congress,” Collins wrote in a letter to Barr obtained by Politico.
The Trump administration filed a legal request last week to strike down the health law.
The president is using the courts to pressure congressional Republicans to take action and fulfill their longtime campaign promise to get rid of Obamacare.
But many Republicans, like Collins, worry that a showdown over healthcare could hurt them on the campaign trail in 2020.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reportedly told Trump in a phone call that moving to get rid of the entire ACA was a mistake, according to Axios.
“This is something I vehemently disagree with, and I hope that the courts do not go along with what the Justice Department has requested,” Collins told News Center Maine last week. “This is many times worse because now the Justice Department is trying to strike down the entire law, rather than trying to invalidate just provisions that the Department views as unconstitutional.”
Collins said that Congress chose to keep parts of the ACA intact when it struck down its individual mandate in a 2017 tax overhaul, like its protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.
“Congress affirmatively eliminated the penalty while leaving these and other critical consumer protections in place. If Congress had intended to eliminate these consumer protections along with the individual mandate, it could have done so. It chose not to,” Collins wrote. “The administration should reconsider its decision and defend the remainder of the ACA.”