The Washington Post reports:
A federal judge in Washington ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration’s push to make health insurance plans available outside the Affordable Care Act that avoid the requirements of the health care law was illegal, calling the efforts “clearly an end-run around the ACA.”
The 43-page ruling, submitted by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates of the District of Columbia, blocks new rules from the Trump administration overseeing “association health plans,” which would allow small businesses to combine their forces to offer plans outside the ACA that would be both less expensive and provide fewer health protections.
The ruling comes amid a whirlwind week for the Trump administration and its efforts to tear down Obamacare. On Monday, the Justice Department said the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down in a filing with a federal appeals court, a dramatic reversal of a stance it took last year.
And on Wednesday, a federal district court judge blocked the administration’s efforts to allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Trump now says that his administration will roll out a new health care plan this year.
The Trump administration’s efforts to expand the availability of association health plans sparked a lawsuit by 11 Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia, who argued that the regulations violated federal law and must be scrapped.
“We are pleased that the District Court saw past the Trump Administration’s transparent effort to sabotage our health care system and gut these critical consumer protections in the service of its own partisan agenda,” New York Attorney General Tish James, one of the parties to the suit, said in a statement.