U.S. District Judge John D. Bates wrote in his opinion late Thursday that so-called "association health plans" were "clearly an end-run" around consumer protections required by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.
At issue in the lawsuit was whether a group of different employers could be described as one under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, known as ERISA, which sets the standards for employer-provided health insurance. But Trump's Labor Department drafted a new rule to allow basically any group of businesses to band together into an association. Pelosi noted that changes need to be made to Obamacare in-order to prevent the "sabotage" of the health care law" by the Trump Administration.
The lawsuit was brought by NY, 10 other states and the District of Columbia previous year.
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Many state officials see federal insurance regulation of small-business plans as infringing on their own traditional authority.
The law also allows children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26.
As health care blogger Charles Gaga explained on ACASignups.net, before the ACA, anyone could form an "association" and they were a common front for fraud - from 2000 to 2002 alone, the Government Accountability Office identified some 144 health associations covering 15,000 employers and 200,000 policyholders were either outright pyramid schemes or set premiums too low and became insolvent, resulting in some $252 million in medical claims going unpaid and patients filing for bankruptcy.
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Republicans on Capitol Hill pointed to association health plans this week as their policy alternative for more affordable health care than the plans sold under the Democrats' health care law. John Barrasso told reporters before the ruling came out on Thursday. Critics have called association health plans "junk insurance" that provide skimpy coverage.
A day after the Trump Administration declared its support for overturning the Obamacare in court, House Democrats proposed strengthening and adding more benefits to the decade-old law. Another judge on Wednesday struck down efforts in Kentucky and Arkansas to place work requirements on some Medicaid enrollees.
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