Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions

Dems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are targeting Republicans on health care, urging them to sign on to a resolution that would allow the Senate to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the legality of ObamaCare.

The resolution, introduced Thursday, would allow the Office of Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in a case brought by Republican attorneys general that argues ObamaCare is now unconstitutional since Congress repealed the 2010 law's individual mandate last year. 

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided not to defend ObamaCare, writing in a June brief that the court should overturn provisions protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.

That move angered both Democrats and Republicans, though Democrats argue the Senate can do something about it.

"This is a test of the Republican Party, whether or not they're going to do the right thing when it comes to protecting people with pre-existing conditions," said Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyGOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Biden speaking to Dems on Capitol Hill as 2020 speculation mounts: report GOP senators: Trump should not declare border emergency during State of the Union MORE (D-Pa.) at a press conference Thursday. "I would hope my Republican friends who have said over and over again ... they agree with the protections for people with pre-existing protections." 

After the DOJ announced its decision not to defend ObamaCare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' Winners and losers in the border security deal House passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency MORE (R-Ky.) said "everybody" in the Senate "is in favor of maintaining coverage for pre-existing conditions." 

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderCongress must move forward on measure dealing with fentanyl GOP advances rules change to speed up confirmation of Trump nominees Key doctors group faces political risks on guns MORE (R-Tenn.) at the time called the DOJ's decision and argument "as far-fetched as any I've ever heard."

Still, it's unlikely Republicans would sign on to the resolution, which is led in large part by vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in November, including Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary EPA's Wheeler faces grilling over rule rollbacks MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general GOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick MORE (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMcCaskill: Lindsey Graham 'has lost his mind' Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump AG pick Barr grilled at hearing | Judge rules against census citizenship question | McConnell blocks second House bill to reopen government MORE (Mo.).  

Casey, Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterGOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms Mulvaney: Government shutdown on the table MORE (Mont.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownShep Smith: Signing funding bill is a 'loss' for Trump no matter how it's packaged Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race Tim Ryan ‘seriously considering’ 2020 bid MORE (Ohio), who are also running in competitive races this year, signed on to the resolution, as did Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSchumer urging ex-congressional candidate Amy McGrath to run against McConnell Mark Kelly launches Senate bid in Arizona Former McCain chief of staff says he will not run for Senate in Arizona in 2020 MORE (Nev.), who isn't up for reelection until 2022.

Sixteen Democratic attorneys general won the right to intervene in the case in May and have been defending ObamaCare in court.