Reuters - A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a court order barring enforcement of an Obama administration policy seeking to extend anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act to transgender health and abortion-related services. In granting an injunction one day before the new policy was to take effect, U. The judge also ruled that plaintiffs were likely to prevail in court on their claim that the new policy infringes on the rights of private healthcare providers under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The plaintiffs argue that the rest of the ACA is not severable from the mandate and should therefore be invalidated. A number of Democratic state AGs are defending the ACA as interveners in the case, arguing in part that Congress intended to keep the ACA in place when it set the individual mandate penalty to zero while leaving the rest of the law intact. The Trump administration has indicated that it intends to continue enforcing the ACA pending an expected appeal of the decision.
They also asked for permission to appeal the confusing and terrible decision. What this means is that for now, fortunately, the ACA is still the law of the land. The Texas decision is reckless and threatens the health and lives of millions of people nationwide.
On October 15, a federal district judge in Texas entered an order permanently barring the U. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing its rule protecting transgender people from discrimination in health care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That decision has generated confusion and fear, leaving many transgender people uncertain whether federal law will still protect them if they are denied insurance coverage for transition-related care or turned away by a hospital or other health care provider.
The ruling was over a lawsuit filed this year by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general. A group of intervening states led by Democrats promised to appeal the decision, which will most likely not have any immediate effect. But it will almost certainly make its way to the Supreme Court, threatening the survival of the landmark health law and, with it, health coverage for millions of Americans, protections for people with pre-existing conditions and much more.
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Today, the U. The proposed rule would maintain vigorous civil rights enforcement on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex, while revising certain provisions of the current Section rule that a federal court has said is likely unlawful. A second federal court agreed.
A federal judge on Tuesday overturned ObamaCare protections for transgender patients, ruling that a policy violates the religious freedom of Christian providers. The ObamaCare rule was initially challenged in court in by a group of Christian providers called the Franciscan Alliance as well as five conservative states. They argued that the rule forces insurers to pay for abortions and compels doctors to perform gender transition services even if they disagree with those services on moral or medical grounds. The injunction meant that even though the provisions remained in effect, the Obama administration could not sue a hospital or provider for not complying.
A federal judge in Fort Worth, Tex. He has also indicated that he might go straight to ruling on the merits of the case. The Justice Department made a highly unusual decision this summer: though it disagreed with the plaintiffs that the entire law should be struck down, it decided not to defend the individual mandate or several other central provisions, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Could this be 'the most dangerous effort to destabilize the American healthcare system yet'? We'll see, but not just yet. As confirmation hearings continue Wednesday morning in Washington, D. Supreme Court that could shape health policy for decades to come, lawyers for 20 conservative states are gathering in a federal courtroom more than 1, miles away, hoping to make their own lasting mark on American healthcare.