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Analysis

Trump DOJ Seeks Expedited Oral Arguments in ACA Appeal

By John Commins  
   April 09, 2019

The DOJ says a prompt resolution of the Texas-led challenge 'will help reduce uncertainty in the healthcare sector and other areas affected by the ACA.'

The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court to expedite oral arguments in a lawsuit that could determine the future of the Affordable Care Act.

In a filing Monday with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice requested that the case be scheduled for oral argument the week of July 8.

"Prompt resolution of this case will help reduce uncertainty in the healthcare sector, and other areas affected by the Affordable Care Act," the DOJ said.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor last December declared the entire ACA invalid, as a Texas-led coalition of plaintiff states had requested. The ruling was appealed to the Fifth Circuit by a California-led coalition of states intervening in defense of the ACA.

The DOJ's filing said the other parties and intervenors involved in the case don't oppose the motion to expedite.

Related: Hospital Groups Thump Trump DOJ on ACA Reversal

Related: DOJ Drops Its Partial ACA Defense, Argues Entire Law Should Fall

Related: Invalidating ACA Would Undercut Parts of Trump's Own Health Policy Agenda

Related: House Officially Intervenes in High-Stakes Case to Defend ACA

Initially, the DOJ had mounted a partial defense of the ACA, arguing that most of the sprawling healthcare legislation should remain intact, even if the ACA's individual mandate were to be struck down in light of Congress zeroing out its tax penalty.

O'Connor's ruling invalidating the ACA went much further than what DOJ had urged. Last month, however, DOJ reversed course and notified the appeals court that it agrees with the plaintiffs' argument and O'Connor's ruling, and would entirely abandon its partial defense of the ACA.  

“Prompt resolution of this case will help reduce uncertainty in the healthcare sector, and other areas affected by the Affordable Care Act.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The request for expedited oral arguments comes two weeks after the DOJ notified the federal appeals court that it would abandon its partial ACA defense.

The DOJ's filing said the other parties and intervenors involved in the case don't oppose the motion to expedite.

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