On Wednesday, Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey vowed to join with like-minded Attorneys General around the country to oppose the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to strike down the Affordable Care Act. Frey’s pledge comes on the heels of the Trump Administration’s briefs filed in the Supreme Court case, which argues that the ACA was made unconstitutional when Senate Republicans, including Senator Susan Collins, removed the law’s individual mandate in their 2017 tax bill. If the lawsuit is successful, nearly 100,000 Mainers could lose their health coverage.
As Trump attempts to eliminate health care coverage amid the pandemic, Frey rebuked Trump for "inviting chaos" by trying to get rid of the ACA without a plan to replace it. Frey pledged to "support the Affordable Care Act through litigation" as long as he serves as Maine's attorney general.
Attorney General Frey’s defense of the ACA is just the latest example of Maine Democrats delivering on their promises to fight for Mainers’ health care. Since 2018, Governor Janet Mills and Democrats in the Legislature have expanded Medicaid, reduced the price of prescription drugs, and passed new laws protecting Maine people from abusive billing practices, surprise emergency room billing, and the high cost of life-saving medication as part of the Patients First health care package.
“I applaud Attorney General Frey for defending our state from the Trump administration’s assault on the Affordable Care Act,” said Kathleen Marra, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “The record shows that Maine Democrats will always fight for Mainers’ health care, and in the middle of a pandemic, nothing could be more important.”
By M. Kmack
July 1, 2020
- Last Thursday, the Trump administration filed a legal brief arguing that the ACA, also known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional and should be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
- A previous Supreme Court ruling found the law to pass constitutional muster based on Congress's authority to impose taxes. But with the removal of penalties from the program's individual mandate, Solicitor General Noel Francisco makes the case that its claim to constitutionality was also removed.
- Supporters of the program say guaranteed health coverage is needed now more than ever with the coronavirus pandemic raging across the country, combined with job losses leaving millions of Americans uninsured.
- Another 2 million Americans would lose coverage if the ACA disappeared, including 83,000 Mainers. The program's protections for people with pre-existing conditions would also be lost.
- As Maine's attorney general, Aaron Frey spoke to reporters on Tuesday, June 30, about his efforts to partner with like-minded attorneys general in other states to defend the ACA in the courts.
- "When you have someone like President Trump or states who are saying 'You know what? Let's just get rid of the ACA and figure out where we go from here.' That is just inviting chaos," Frey said. "And chaos is exactly the opposite of what we need when people are planning how to deal with important health considerations for themselves, for their families, for their loved ones. So as long as I have the privilege of serving as Maine's attorney general, I'm going to support the Affordable Care Act through litigation."
- President Trump has said he wants to give Americans a better health care system that continues to protect people with pre-existing conditions. But his administration and Republicans in Congress have not offered an alternative plan.
- The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the President's challenge to Obamacare sometime during the fall.