Four cities sue Trump administration over Obamacare "sabotage"

Trump supporters and Obamacare

Four cities are suing the Trump administration over what they describe as a "sabotage" of the Affordable Care Act. Although Congress and the Trump administration have eased some of the Obama-era health law requirements, it's still the law of the land. 

Chicago, Baltimore, and Ohio's Columbus and Cincinatti on Thursday filed a suit against President Trump, Health and Human Services and its secretary Alex Azar, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and its administrator Seema Verma. The suit claims Mr. Trump and his administration, having failed to successfully repeal Obamacare in Congress, are "waging a relentless campaign to sabotage, and ultimately, to nullify the law." The suit, filed in federal court in Baltimore, alleges the administration's actions are placing a greater burden on localities. 

"They are discouraging Americans from enrolling in comprehensive plans that protect them against debilitating medical expenses," the suit reads. "They are working to raise prices and reduce choices for Americans seeking insurance in the Act's exchanges. And they are misappropriating funds Congress allocated to support the Act, instead using those funds to attack it."

The suit argues the administration has weakened or eliminated, via executive actions, aspects of the ACA that ensure people have quality health insurance. 

"The Trump administration's strategy: to deceptively shift the blame from their own actions to the Act itself. Their objective: to pressure Congress to repeal the Act or, if that fails, to achieve de facto repeal through executive action alone. The administration's actions are unlawful," the suit continues. 

The suit claims Mr. Trump has been quite transparent about his plan, quoting Mr. Trump from July 2017, when he said, "If we don't get it [Obamacare repeal] done ... we are going to watch Obamacare go down the tubes, and we'll blame the Democrats ... and at some point, they are going to come and say, 'You've got to help us.'"

Although Mr. Trump likes to claim Obamacare is essentially dead, the basic framework of the law was never repealed. The president often — as recently as at a rally Thursday night — laments the GOP's failure to fully repeal the law, referring to Sen. John McCain's decision not to vote with his party on repeal.