U.S. Dept. of Labor Rule Expands Association Health Plans which are Prone to Fraud and Abuse – Part of Effort to Evade Consumer Protections and Undercut Obamacare
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Association Health Plan Rule, which expands the criteria for forming health plans for the purpose of evading consumer protections and undermining the Affordable Care Act. These kinds of health plans have a history and are prone to fraud, mismanagement, and abuse, with millions in unpaid claims for policyholders and providers, often leading to consumer bankruptcies.
“The Affordable Care Act is the law, and I’m acting to enforce the law and ensure that Pennsylvanians and Americans can continue relying on it for safe, affordable health care for themselves and their families,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Just because the Trump administration doesn’t like Obamacare does not give them the right to undermine the law.”
Click here to read the complaint, which was signed by Attorney General Shapiro and 11 other attorneys generals, including New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington.
Over the last few decades, Congress has legislated – including through the Affordable Care Act – to protect consumers from association health plans’ fraudulent conduct and to ensure consumers have comprehensive health coverage without higher premiums or fewer benefits based on pre-existing conditions. The Labor Department’s Rule would undo critical consumer protections and expand access to these kinds of plans without justification or consideration of the consequences.
The lawsuit filed today in federal court in Washington, D.C. alleges the Department of Labor violated the Administrative Procedures Act when it promulgated the Rule. The lawsuit argues the Rule violates the ACA and the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and that it unlawfully reverses decades of judicial interpretation of ERISA, to undermine the ACA and without accounting for increased risk of fraud and harm to consumers. The Attorneys General are urging the AHP Rule be vacated.
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