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in a case brought by Republican attorneys general that argues ObamaCare is now unconstitutional since Congress repealed the 2010 law's individual mandate last year.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 CaseyTrump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Obama to hit campaign trail in Pa. for gubernatorial, Senate candidates Trump is wrong, Dems are fighting to save Medicare and Social Security 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 McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump 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 AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke 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 DonnellyThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE (Ind.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE (N.D.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world MORE (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada Google says senators' Gmail accounts targeted by foreign hackers MORE (Mo.).  

Casey, Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterTrump Jr. campaign event looks for new venue after Montana restaurant declines to host CBS Poll: Missouri, Montana Senate races in dead heats Dems play waiting game with Collins and Murkowski MORE (Mont.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (Ohio), who are also running in competitive races this year, signed on to the resolution, as did Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Ten years later: Wounds run deep from 2008 crash Attorneys general races in spotlight as parties build bench, fight feds 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.