Democratic Committee Leaders Reiterate Demand for Information on Administration’s Decision Not to Defend the ACA
Four House Democratic Committee Leaders sent a follow-up letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today reiterating their request for answers on the Trump Administration’s decision to decline to defend protections for individuals with preexisting conditions in the Texas v. United States lawsuit. The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ways & Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), Judiciary Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA)
The four Democratic Committee leaders originally requested answers on the Trump Administration’s decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against the lawsuit in June, but the Administration declined to provide a substantive response.
“The guaranteed issue, community rating, and preexisting condition exclusion provisions of the ACA prohibit insurers from discriminating on the basis of these preexisting conditions,” the Democrats wrote to Secretary Azar and Administrator Verma. “In declining to defend these provisions, the Trump Administration is seeking to invalidate these critical patient protections, and once again subject millions of Americans with preexisting conditions to the discrimination they faced before the ACA.”
The Democrats are requesting a complete response to their June letter by December 31, 2018 and a briefing on the Department’s document production schedule by December 17, 2018.
“There is no legal basis to withhold information from Congress on the basis of the pendency of an ongoing lawsuit,” Pallone, Neal, Nadler and Scott continued in their letter.
The letter is available HERE.