Vice President for Health Policy
President Trump and some congressional Republicans are portraying federal Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as an opportunity to return to last year’s ACA “repeal and replace” proposals, which they argue could solve the problems the ruling would create if allowed to stand. Fortunately, Judge O’Connor’s ruling does not alter health care for now; even the White House acknowledges that the ACA remains the law of the land pending certain appeal. Moreover, as legal experts with opposing views on the ACA have explained, the legal reasoning behind the decision is extraordinarily weak, leading even committed opponents of the ACA to predict it will be overturned. But last year’s bills would have had much the same devastating consequences as the decision itself, and the responses to the ruling are a reminder that the Administration and many congressional Republicans still support these outcomes as a matter of policy.
Like Judge O’Connor’s decision, last year’s repeal bills would: