Within minutes of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, lawsuits were filed challenging its constitutionality. Over the next six years, dozens of cases were filed challenging the ACA or Obama administration regulations implementing it. Although most of these cases were dismissed, four made it to the Supreme Court, including one that dramatically changed the scope of the ACA’s coverage of the uninsured by making the Medicaid expansions optional with the states. Many challenges were brought by Republican attorneys general, who championed the battle against the signature legislative triumph of a Democratic administration.
On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a draft bill targeting surprise medical bills in an effort to protect patients from unexpected and exorbitant charges. If approved, the bill will establish several measures intended to warn patients about additional costs at out-of-network facilities and prevent out-of-network health care providers from charging additional costs for emergency services.
Consumers who abandoned the Obamacare exchanges this year are entitled to a “hardship” exemption to the individual mandate penalty, CMS publicized Wednesday. This will directly affect people who chose to go uninsured or who enrolled in coverage that doesn’t comply with Obamacare protocols. This follows the agency’s April guidance that expanded the exemption to people who live in rural counties or have claims going back to 2016, but applicants still had to give a written explanation for why they required the exemption.
Today, a Texas lawsuit will be heard determining pivotal laws and regulations concerning the Affordable Care Act. Republican attorney generals, led by Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton, will go against the Democratic party, led by California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, to debate the fate of the ACA. U.S District Judge Reed O’Connor will hear both sides and determine whether the health law should be put on hold while the case is being contested. GOP Plaintiffs are looking for a “preliminary injunction” on the law.