The big news this morning is, Bill Barr's DoJ is now trying to torch the ACA.
"Bill Barr had a busy time in 48 hours. He's written this four-page memo. On the other hand, his Justice Department has moved basically to strike down Obamacare in its entirety. Signing on and making clear that they approve of this Texas federal district judge who said Obamacare needs to go away immediately. That's a big step," New Day co-host John Berman said.
"This is a big legal change," former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said. It is a change of course within an administration. Look, it is normal when the entire administration changes for DoJ to change the position. Here, we're still in the same administration. The prior position that the Trump DoJ had taken was this one piece may need to come out of the law, but the whole law, the entirety of the ACA can still stand without it. Now the position is, if this piece comes out and it should, it should all collapse. That's an enormous sea change. And I think it's really quite unusual for DoJ."
(Yeah, a lot of that unusual DoJ action going around lately!)
"Here is what Obamacare covers, 52 million people with pre-existing conditions, 27% of non-elderly adults have pre-existing conditions. Can coverage be stripped away from people?" Alysin Camerota said.
"It depends. That's what we're going to find out," said Jennifer Rodgers, another former federal prosecutor.
"One thing interesting to watch is in the course of filing briefs, taking positions, when Jeff Sessions was the attorney general, they took positions, right, they took positions on what was legal, what was illegal, what was supported, what wasn't. Now to say we disagree now, we think these cases don't say what we said they say, that will be hard to do. It will be interesting to see how they try to thread that needle legally in the filings they make now. Now it will be up to the Supreme Court again to sign on the issues of severability."
"That's a lot of collateral damage particularly when it contradicts the position that Republicans took over and over during the campaign, saying we want to protect pre-existing conditions. This February 5th, state of the union, the president saying loudly, I will protect people with pre-existing conditions. That apparent statement is not operative anymore," John Avlon said.
Then they showed this clip:
We will always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. We're going to take care of them.
"No. Not if this appeals court in New Orleans sides with the administration, at least not for a time. If they were to strike it down, and the Supreme Court would agree, that's by no means certain, but if that were to happen, there is nothing it replace it with," Berman said.
"That's correct. And look, they have been trying to dismantle Obamacare by administrative action because they failed to do so in the legislature, which the president is sore about and brings up all the time. They have been trying to move the pieces so it all falls apart. This is a big move to go with the Texas court, so the position that came out in December, just getting to it now, but it really is a form of policy arson," Avlon said.
The judge who made the December ruling, Reed O'Connor, is famous for his extreme ideological rulings:
"Judge O'Connor has been the go-to judge for Ken Paxton and Republican attorneys general who want to file ideological suits in any court across the country," Nelson says. "Reed O'Connor is their best shot to get a ruling that they like."
Supreme Court reporter Ian Millhiser called Trump's DoJ "lawless hacks."
You know what to do: Vote for anyone on the ballot with a "D" after their name.