Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) told a federal court that it will not defend critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions. A court case filed by 20 states argues that because the individual mandate has been repealed, the entire law is invalid and must be struck down. The DOJ does not fully support the position of the states that the entire law should be invalidated but it is in favor of striking key provisions of the law protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions. A statement from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is below:
We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Justice Department to not defend the constitutionality of existing law and critical health care protections for people living with pre-existing conditions. The loss of insurance coverage due to their disease would be devastating to people with cystic fibrosis, who need reliable access to high-quality, specialized care.
If the case is successful, insurers could return to discriminatory coverage and pricing practices -- leaving people with pre-existing conditions with limited access to health care coverage and more expensive health care costs. People with CF and other pre-existing conditions need guarantees that their health insurance will not exclude services related to CF and that they will not be charged high premiums because of their disease.
The Justice Department's decision is a dramatic departure from the executive branch's tradition of arguing to uphold existing statues. We urge the administration to reconsider its position and keep patients at the heart of their decision.