In the waning months of the Trump administration, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services unlawfully approved Georgia’s plan to end its residents’ access to healthcare.gov without offering an equivalent insurance marketplace. Georgia’s Section 1332 waiver request violates essential Affordable Care Act requirements and seeks to turn back the clock for Georgians trying to enroll in quality health care to a time when consumers were forced to navigate through private insurers, brokers, and junk plans just to get covered.

The Trump administration’s approval of Georgia’s unlawful 1332 waiver is just another part of its larger push to “decimate Obamacare.” Section 1332 of the ACA was designed to grant states flexibility to offer innovative coverage options, so long as the state’s plan matches or surpasses the Act’s benchmarks with respect to coverage, comprehensiveness, and affordability. But HHS substantially weakened those guardrails in 2018 with guidance that encouraged faulty state alternatives — like Georgia’s — that drive consumers to junk health plans.

Up to 100,000 Georgians stand to lose their insurance as a result of the Trump administration’s decision to approve the state’s Section 1332 waiver. Nearly 80% of Georgia residents who enroll in the individual market find and purchase their health coverage on healthcare.gov. Georgia’s Trump-approved plan will do immense damage to the state’s health insurance market, force Georgians to shop for insurance through private brokers and insurance companies, lead more residents to enroll in junk plans, and increase premiums.

Of the 1,826 total comments HHS received on the waiver, only 8 were in support of the Georgia plan.

We filed suit to vacate the Trump administration’s unlawful approval of Georgia’s Section 1332 waiver and the 2018 Trump administration decision that provided the basis for the waiver approval. Georgia’s waiver violates the statutory guardrails within the Affordable Care Act and the Trump Administration’s rushed, unreasonable decision violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Planned Parenthood Southeast and the Feminist Women’s Health Center on January 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In the News

Kemp, Trump proposal to block ACA shopping website draws legal fight

Atlanta Journal-Constitution / January 14, 2021
2016

Trump threatens the ACA.

2018

The Trump Administration weakens Section 1332 of the ACA with its 2018 Guidance.

The 2018 Guidance expressly invokes President Trump’s 2017 Executive Order instructing agencies to waive ACA’s requirements “to the maximum extent permitted by law” and weakens the statute’s critical guardrails, which are designed to protect consumers.

October 2020

The State of Georgia finalizes and submits its “Georgia Access Model.”

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November 1, 2020

The Administration unlawfully approves Georgia’s extraordinary Section 1332 waiver request.

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January 14, 2021

We filed suit.

Aman George

Counsel & Legal Policy Director

Challenging unlawful actions and abuses of power related to the environment, healthcare, and good governance.

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John Lewis

Senior Counsel

Litigating challenges to unlawful actions involving immigration, civil rights, health care, education, and more.

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