Department of Justice Reverses Course: Agrees That the Entire Affordable Care Act Should Be Struck Down

Published March 26, 2019

In a recent filing with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) reversed its prior position stating the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) should be struck down in its entirety. In December 2018, a federal district court judge ruled that the ACA’s individual mandate had become unconstitutional and that the entire ACA must be struck down. At that time the DOJ agreed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional but did not believe it required eliminating the ACA in its entirety. However, the DOJ’s current position in a court filing on Monday, March 25, 2019 is that the district court judge came to the right conclusion in its December decision and that the DOJ will support that decision. Many fear that elimination of the ACA could result in significant adverse changes to the way health care is delivered and cause millions to lose their coverage.

The case remains on appeal in the Fifth Circuit.