AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine's Attorney General is bringing all of his resources to bear in the legal fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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.