ACA Sabotage Lawsuits Galore! Here's the latest on a whole slew of important cases

A big shout-out to Josh Dorner for providing a roundup of the current status of a five different lawsuits (six, really, although two of them are on the same topic in two different states) fighting back against GOP/Trump Administration sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, including:

There's also the various CSR reimbursement payment lawsuits filed by various insurance carriers. Those should have been a fairly minor issue only relating to about $2 billion in payments dating back to the 4th quarter of 2017...but as I explained in detail here, these suits may instead turn into an even more massive headache for the Trump Administration, and rightly so.

Short-term, Limited Duration Junk Plans
Association of Community Affiliated Plans et al  v. U.S. Dept of Treasury et al, 1:18-cv-2133
D.C. District Court, Judge Richard Leon

  • Latest:
    • Amicus briefs filed today (see memo with details and key excerpts here) by:
      • Doctors - American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, HIV Medicine Association and Medical Society for the District of Columbia
      • Patient Representatives - American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Global Healthy Living Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes Foundation, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship and National Multiple Sclerosis Society
      • AARP and the AARP Foundation
    • Last Friday, both the plaintiffs and the government filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Of note in our plaintiffs filing, there is new material (pp. 13-16) on how these junk plans and the way they are being marketed is highly deceptive and damaging to consumers.
  • Next: Responses to the cross-motions for summary judgment are due on Friday, March 15.

Texas Constitutional Challenge to the Affordable Care Act

Texas et al v. United States et al,  4:18-CV-167
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, merits panel yet to be named

  • Latest:
    • On February 14, the U.S. House of Representatives and the states of Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Nevada were granted intervenor status in defense of the ACA. The order granting the House’s motion to intervene included this line (emphasis mine), “In the absence of any other federal governmental party in the case presenting a complete defense to the Congressional enactment at issue, this court may benefit from the participation by the House.”
    • Motion by California et al to expedite briefing was denied.
    • Maine is no longer a party to the case.
  • Next: The opening briefs from California et al and the United States are due by Monday, March 25.
  • Of note:
    • Last month, the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a report that directly contradicts the argument that DOJ is making in court, namely that without the individual mandate other elements of the law must fall. Here’s what the CEA report said:
    • “the three-legged-stool justification for the individual mandate tax penalty [linking the penalty to the guaranteed issue and community rating insurance reforms] is not consistent with the basic facts of how the ACA is structured. The penalty and other restrictions on consumer choice are not needed to support the guaranteed issue of community-rated health insurance to all consumers, including those with preexisting conditions”;
    • “the common argument that the individual mandate is valuable is misguided, due to the large ACA premium subsidies” which ensure the exchanges’ stability;
    • “[t]he individual mandate adds an unnecessary leg to the ACA stool.”

Medicaid Work Requirement Litigation
Stewart v. Azar (Kentucky), 1:18-cv-00152-JEB
Gresham v. Azar (Arkansas), 1:18-cv-01900-JEB
D.C. District Court, Judge James (Jeb) Boasberg

  • Latest: The defendants’ replies are due today, Friday, March 1.
  • Next: Oral arguments will take place on Thursday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. (Arkansas) and 11:00 a.m. (Kentucky) in courtroom 25A.

Association Health Plans
New York et al v. U.S. Dept. of Labor et al,  1:18-cv-01747
D.C. District Court, Judge John Bates

  • Latest: A hearing on pending motions was held on January 24, 2019.
  • Next: A ruling by Judge Bates is expected at any time.

​​​​​​​Take Care Lawsuit
Columbus et al v. Trump, 11:18-cv-02364-DKC
U.S. district court, District of Maryland, Judge Deborah Chasanow

  • Latest: On January 25, 2019, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint detailing additional sabotage actions. Philadelphia also joined the lawsuit.
  • Next: The government’s response to the amended complaint is due today, Friday, March 1.