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Colorado AG responds to Trump administration asking court to throw out the Affordable Care Act

With just two sentences, the Trump administration sent alarm bells ringing in the heads of those that support the Affordable Care Act.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2019, file photo, a view of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. Borrowing a word from Democrats, a new White House report says changes made to the Affordable Care Act under President Donald Trump didn’t amount to “sabotage.” (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON — The Colorado Attorney General is one of the first state attorney generals to come out with a statement against the Trump administration asking a federal court to toss out the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Late Monday evening, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a letter with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that suggests the judge toss out the law (you can read the full two-sentence letter here). 

Millions of Americans have health insurance due to the ACA, while many still oppose it. According to a tracking poll maintained by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation - a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on national health issues - as of March 1, 50 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the law while 40 percent had an unfavorable view.

According to USA Today, a lower court ruled that the ACA is unconstitutional. The letter from the Justice Department asks the judge to "reaffirm" that ruling and says that the "United States is not urging that any portion of the district court's judgment be reversed."

A coalition of Republican-led states brought a lawsuit against the law - Texas v. United States - saying the whole law should be struck down, USA Today reports

Not long after the letter was filed, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser took to Twitter to decry the move.

"The Department of Justice has a duty to uphold and defend our laws, including the #ACA," Weiser wrote. "The theory for striking down the entire #ACA is implausible. As [Colorado Attorney General], I will defend the #RuleOfLaw and protect Colorado's interest in the #ACA, including the Medicaid expansion."

In December, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled that the law's individual mandate "can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress's tax power," according to NBC News. He also said the remaining parts of the law were void as well.

He based his decisions on Republican changes to tax code in 2017, NBC News reported Tuesday.

This comes as Democrats intend to introduce a bill Tuesday aimed at fulfilling campaign promises: strengthening the ACA. Its aim is to make more middle-class people eligible for subsidized health insurance while increasing aid to lower-income families that already qualify, NBC News reports.

According to the Associated Press, the government said on Monday that 11.4 million people signed up for health care coverage so far this year - a slight dip from 2018 numbers.

It may not be related to the Justice Department's filing or the Affordable Care Act lawsuit, but President Donald Trump tweeted just before 11 a.m. Tuesday that, "The Republican Party will become 'The Party of Healthcare!'"

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