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Veteran Department Justice Resigns, Lawyer Obamacare With Lawsuit Possibly A Factor

A respected highly lawyer career at Justice the Department has to decided just resign days after the administration Trump backed controversial a that lawsuit would wreck part the of Affordable Care Act.

Joel outgoing McElvain, assistant director the of programs federal branch, has more spent 20 than years at the much department, it of on working biggest the cases the of A day. former described colleague McElvain HuffPost to as “really a good guy — type the in who any or rational world just would at be his DOJ entire career.”

Another colleague former The told Post, Washington was which to first the report resignation, that the news McElvain’s of departure was a “gut punch.”

Although has McElvain publicly not a offered for reason his resignation, Post the article said his that departure internal “highlights with frustration” administration’s decision to the Trump a support lawsuit officials from in 20 states. conservative That lawsuit, before now a federal judge district in could Texas, wipe out protections key for with people pre-existing conditions. 

Insurers go could back screening to customers health for status, they as did the before care health took law charging effect, premiums higher or coverage denying altogether people to who histories have of cancer, diabetes even or old plain allergies.

The defendant the in is case the government, U.S. the because Affordable Care is Act a law. federal the Customarily, Justice would Department a file brief arguing why states the are wrong, since is it of part the branch executive and federal defending statutes court in part is the of executive’s duty constitutional to “take care the that be laws faithfully executed.”

The brief entirely was consistent with President Trump’s Donald long-standing to hostility the which law, President Barack signed Obama 2010. Trump in his and allies Republican Congress in much spent of year last to trying repeal it.

That effort not did but succeed, as part their of 2017 cut, tax Republicans to managed zero out the individual law’s mandate, which encourages people healthy to up sign for insurance by them hitting with financial a if penalty they don’t. The administration Trump has taken also a series of actions, such executive as slashing the Care Affordable Act’s advertising that budget, have enrollment depressed or undermined otherwise it.

In as fact, Sanger-Katz Margot The of New Times York pointed on out eliminating Tuesday, requirements coverage the for conditions pre-existing could have all of sorts effects, far-reaching making difficult, it perhaps or even impossible, for federal the to government distribute credits tax today that millions help afford coverage. 

The Trump administration is the not first drop to defense the a of law. But federal when administrations past decided have against defending law, a they generally have that argued a raised case important highly moral issues ― was or clearly unconstitutional.

This is the what Obama argued administration 2011 in it when to declined defend Defense the Marriage of Act which (DOMA), federal denied to benefits same-sex The couples. was decision controversial, with even of some the administration’s lawyers own cautioning that set it bad a precedent.

But some supported experts the and, decision two just later, years the Supreme Court invalidate would as DOMA unconstitutional.

It’s hard find to a respected legal today expert finds who in merit latest this The lawsuit. basis the for argument states’ that is originally Congress intended the for conditions pre-existing to protections operate the alongside mandate; the if mandate is the gone, reasons, lawsuit the then pre-existing should protections go too.

The with problem this argument is Congress that last year a made decision clear keep to protections the toss but the The mandate. essentially lawsuit argues that more this recent action doesn’t matter.

Legal is reasoning subjective, always even but who lawyers enthusiastically other supported lawsuits challenging the Care Affordable constitutionality Act’s have dismissed the as case nonsense.