President Trump Boasts of Efforts to Dismantle ACA, Violating Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Law

Trump’s Lawbreaking Contributed to Millions of Americans Losing Insurance Coverage, Paying Increased Premiums

Cities of Columbus, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago and Philadelphia Oppose Administration’s Attempt to Dismiss Case


Washington, DC — Recently, a coalition of individuals and cities representing nearly six million Americans responded to the Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss their legal challenge that seeks to stop President Trump’s intentional and unlawful sabotage of the Affordable Care Act. In a new filing, the cities of Columbus, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago and Philadelphia, represented by Democracy Forward, detailed the deliberate and unlawful attacks by the administration on the health law, which have raised premiums and disrupted health insurance plans for millions of Americans. By intentionally sabotaging the ACA, President Trump is violating his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Since the cities filed suit last year, the Trump administration’s sabotage has made quality health insurance more expensive and less accessible. Studies show that the number of uninsured Americans has increased. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the number of uninsured Americans under age 65 rose from 27 million in a 2016 study to 29 million in an updated 2018 study. An Urban Institute study projects that the President’s sabotage efforts, among other factors, will cause enrollment in ACA-compliant individual market plans to decrease by the following amounts in 2019:

  • Ohio: 31.6 percent, and 45.6 percent if expanded access to short-term policies is factored in.

  • Maryland: 20.1 percent, and 34.7 percent if expanded access to short-term policies is factored in.

  • Illinois: 25 percent, and 39.1 percent if expanded access to short-term policies is factored in.

  • Pennsylvania: 30.3 percent, and 43.0 percent if expanded access to short-term policies is factored in.

From 2017 to 2018, premiums increased by 37% for a benchmark plan under the ACA. Studies estimate that, nationwide, the average annual unsubsidized insurance premium in 2019 is between $580 and $970 higher than it would be if the ACA were being lawfully carried out.

“President Trump promised to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and he is violating the Constitution in his repeated attempts to do so,” said Democracy Forward Executive Director Anne Harkavy.

The cities have asked that the court order the President to take certain steps to faithfully execute the ACA, including by restoring funding for advertising and for healthcare Navigator groups, expanding open enrollment periods, and promoting the availability of comprehensive, reasonably-priced health insurance for individuals and families with preexisting conditions.

The cities of Columbus, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Chicago, as well as residents of Charlottesville, Virginia, originally filed suit on August 2, 2018 in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Philadelphia joined the plaintiff coalition in January 2019. Plaintiffs responded to the Trump Administration’s attempt to dismiss their lawsuit on May 31, 2019.


Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization that scrutinizes Executive Branch activity across policy areas, represents clients in litigation to challenge unlawful actions, and educates the public when the White House or federal agencies break the law.

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