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Will Obamacare Survive The Latest Trump Maneuver?

In a rare move, the U.S. Department of Justice has sided with a legal effort by 20 Republican-led states to upend the Affordable Care Act’s core provisions — one of only two instances in recent memory when the federal government has failed to defend a current law. The Texas-led lawsuit argues that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the law’s promise of coverage to people with preexisting conditions must be overturned. The Justice Department says it has abandoned the effort because it can’t find any “reasonable arguments” to support the ACA’s provisions. Fighting to preserve the ACA, California and 16 other liberal states have filed their own brief. Should this case against the ACA prevail, does it spell the end of health reform? And, will this fresh legal uncertainty lead to higher insurance premiums for Americans or more insurers fleeing the exchange markets? This timely briefing will help participants understand how this latest legal threat could play out — and what it means for the future of health reform in their communities.

WHEN: June 18, from 12-1 p.m. PT / 3-4 p.m. ET

REGISTER: Click here [Now closed]

Our panelists include:

Timothy Jost is an emeritus professor of law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and a leading health policy expert. He has written numerous articles and book chapters on health care regulation and comparative health law and policy, and has lectured on health law topics throughout the world. He is a co-author of the casebook “Health Law,” a widely used textbook for teaching health law, and several other books. He routinely writes for the policy journal Health Affairs, and is regularly quoted on health policy matters in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times. A member of the National Academy of Medicine and a former Fulbright scholar, Jost obtained his JD at the University of Chicago Law School.

Stephanie Armour is the health policy reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where she covers the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, congressional health legislation, the opioid epidemic, and state health initiatives. A reporter for more than two decades, she has produced award-winning investigative projects on subjects including food safety, body brokering, and human trafficking. Armour has also written for Bloomberg, USA Today, The Des Moines Register, and The Daily Tribune in Ames, Ia. Her journalism awards include a First Place Headliner Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City, a First Place Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and a First Place in Consumer Journalism Award from the National Press Club. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Dan Eggen, the White House and congressional editor at The Washington Post, and their two daughters. She has degree in English from the University of Minnesota.

 Webinars are free and made possible by The Commonwealth Fund and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.

Panelists' slides:


 Suggested reading

Trump Administration Court Filing Threatens Coverage for Preexisting Conditions,” by Timothy Jost, To The Point/Commonwealth 

Get Health Coverage at Work? Lawsuit Against ACA Could Affect You, Too,” by Stephanie Armour, The Wall Street Journal

Focus on Health Care Jolts GOP Ahead of Midterms,” by Stephanie Armour and Kristina Peterson, The Wall Street Journal

Justice Department Won’t Defend Affordable Care Act in Lawsuit Brought by States,” by Stephanie Armour, The Wall Street Journal

Senior Justice Dept. lawyer resigns after shift on Obamacare,” by Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post

McConnell: 'Everybody' in Senate likes pre-existing condition safeguards,” by Jennifer Haberkorn, Politico

Industry and experts pile on in ACA case,” by Sam Baker, Axios

Justice Dept. Says Crucial Provisions of Obamacare Are Unconstitutional,” by Robert Pear, The New York Times

The fight over preexisting conditions is back. Here’s why the Obamacare battle won’t end.” By Sarah Kliff, Vox

Trump gives Democrats a big health care opening for the midterms,” Drew Altman of Kaiser Family Foundation for Axios

Uncertainty could spook insurance markets as DOJ decides not to defend ACA,” by Susannah Luthi, Modern Healthcare

The ACA Remains Critical for Insurance Coverage and Health Funding, Even without the Individual Mandate,” by John Holahan, Linda J. Blumberg and Matthew Buettgens, Urban Institute

The Texas lawsuit could end some of the ACA’s protections for employer coverage,” by Nicholas Bagley, The Incidental Economist

Texas Fold ‘Em,” by Nicholas Bagley, The Incidental Economist

The legal brief

One of the amicus briefs



The Center for Health Journalism’s 2023 National Fellowship will provide $2,000 to $10,000 reporting grants, five months of mentoring from a veteran journalist, and a week of intensive training at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles from July 16-20. Click here for more information and the application form, due May 5.


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