Judge Strikes Down Expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs)

In the same week that the Trump administration doubled down on its legal opposition to Obamacare, a federal judge Thursday blocked as an “end-run” around the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) sought by the administration.

U.S. District Judge John Bates sided with the arguments brought in a lawsuit by 11 Blue States and the District of Columbia against the plan unveiled in a June 2018 rule from the Department of Labor (DOL). AHPs under the rule do not have to adhere to the essential benefits and other requirements of the ACA.

The judge had strong language for the administration’s effort, calling the regulatory change a “magic trick” that allowed for “absurd results” undermining the intent of Congress.

The ruling comes just three days after the Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew all support for the ACA in the review by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of a federal judge’s ruling that the entire health care law is unconstitutional.

And it comes one day after a federal judge in Kentucky blocked the implementation of Medicaid work requirements for able-bodied recipients in both Kentucky and Arkansas.


NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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