COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says he is optimistic about the success of a lawsuit filed against the federal government and the Trump administration demanding full enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Columbus is leading the case that it filed jointly with the cities of Chicago, Baltimore and Cincinnati.
“We spent months preparing for this. This isn't something we woke up one morning and said, ‘Let's sue the Trump administration,’" said Klein.
The cities say their citizens and their municipal budgets are suffering because of the efforts of the White House to undercut the ACA.
"As a result of these actions, we now have seen 37% increase in premiums for those on exchanges and we've also seen three million more people uninsured in this country," said Klein.
Klein argues in the lawsuit that the President himself has violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which basically sets the rules for making rules.
But, more concerning is the alleged violation of the constitution, the claim that the President cut the open enrollment period, decreased funding for the navigator program and took money set aside to advertise the open enrollment period and instead created commercials telling people Obamacare is bad for the country.
"His tweets saying I'm going to do everything i can to undermine Obamacare, Obamacare is dead, Democrats are going to come crawling back to me because Obamacare is dead, look at the actions i'm takig because Obamacare is dead. Those combined is a violation of the constitution. So, essentially, you're saying there is an existing federal law, enforce it. Because that’s your job under the constitution as President of the United States. That's exactly what Article Two of the United States Consitutiton says. You enforce the laws that were duly enacted by Congress."
Klein says those covered by Medicaid expansion, parents with children under age 26, and anyone with a pre-existing condition has a stake in the case. So far, there has been no reaction from the Justice Department or the White House.