Texas - U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has stepped up its attack on the Obamacare health care law, telling a federal appeals court it agrees with a Texas judge's ruling that the law is unconstitutional and should be struck down.
The Justice Department in a two-sentence letter to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit filed on Monday said it backed the December ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth that found the Affordable Care Act violated the U.S. Constitution because it required people to buy health insurance.
O'Connor ruled on a lawsuit brought by a coalition of 20 Republican-led states including Texas, Alabama and Florida, that said a Trump-backed change the U.S. tax code made the law unconstitutional.
The 2010 law, seen as the signature domestic achievement of Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, has been a flash point of American politics since it passed, with Republicans including Trump repeatedly attempting to overturn it.
Democrats made defending the law a powerful messaging tool in the run-up to the November elections, when polls showed that eight in 10 Americans wanted to defend the law's most popular benefits including protections for insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions. The strategy paid off and Democrats won a broad 38-seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.