Conceding that the Trump administration’s goal is to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander nonetheless has tossed a lawsuit by Maryland that claimed the administration’s anti-ACA actions were harming the state’s citizens.
Brought by state Attorney General Brian Frosh, the lawsuit’s main point was that the Trump administration is failing to enforce the law and thus jeopardizing the health of Marylanders, which the judge dismissed as unproven.
“In effect, the state proclaims that the sky is falling,” the judge wrote. “But falling acorns, even several of them, do not amount to a falling sky.”
The lawsuit also claimed that the appointment of Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was unconstitutional, a claim that died with the judge’s decision.
Judge Hollander, an Obama appointee, further wrote that not defending the ACA in court, as the administration chose to do in the case in Texas that resulted in the law’s being declared unconstitutional, is not the same as failing to enforce it.
“Neither the president’s zealous attempts to repeal the statute, nor his derisive commends about it, support an inference that he will fail to enforce the law,” she explained.
Should the administration stop enforcing the ACA, the judge said, the lawsuit could be revived.
Frosh put on a happy face after the decision, saying: “The effect of the court’s ruling today is simply that we must wait to pursue our case.”