Graham: 'Obamacare Cannot Be Fixed; It Must Be Replaced'

Randy Kelley
April 4, 2019

President Trump has in recent days promised to come up with something "far better" than Obamacare, a long sought-after white whale that eluded Republicans with their disastrous go at repealing the Affordable Care Act in 2017.

The ruling Thursday by U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington, D.C., is the second setback in a week for the administration's health care initiatives.

The rule was the Trump administration's latest effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

When Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives with a net gain of 40 seats in the 2018 midterms, it became obvious that Republicans in Congress would not have the votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare, in 2019 or 2020. "But we're doing something right now that will be much less expensive than Obamacare for the people".

"The Association Health Plan rule opened healthcare options for dozens of associations representing thousands of small businesses and sole proprietors and provided them with access to the same type of care options offered by other employers", the spokesman continued. Democrats have slammed the administration for "sabotaging" the health care law through regulations that promote "junk" insurance, and short-term plans have drawn more of their ire than the association plans.

Bates' ruling comes after an intense week in the courts for the administration's health care policies.

It was that concern - and qualms about the legal justification for the move - that drew objections from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone as the White House debated its position on the Texas lawsuit, which was brought by a coalition of Republican-led states.

The Trump administration says it will continue to approve state requests for work requirements, but has not indicated if it will appeal. Bates said he agreed with states challenging the rule that the Department of Labor stretched the definition of the "employer". If former President Barack Obama's health law is struck down entirely, Congress would face an impossible task: pass a comprehensive health overhaul to replace it that both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump can agree to.

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