Reprinted from The Wall Street Journal by Stephanie Armour on September 14, 2018.
Patient and advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to block the Trump administration’s plan to let people buy less-expensive health insurance that doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act.
The suit, filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia, takes aim at one of the central planks of the administration’s plan to roll back the Obama-era health law, after Congress failed to repeal it last year. It sets the stage for a legal standoff that could affect coverage and premiums for millions of Americans in 2019.
The Trump administration rule finalized in August loosens restrictions on a type of coverage known as short-term medical insurance—low-cost plans that cover a limited period with less-expansive benefit offerings, which are subject to fewer consumer protection regulations. The plans don’t have to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and insurers can charge higher premiums based on a consumer’s health status.
The lawsuit filed by organizations including the American Psychiatric Association and AIDS United argues that the rule runs contrary to the ACA and will harm patients by resulting in higher costs for those with medical conditions. …