Amidst Devastating Pandemic, Cities of Columbus, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Healthcare Consumers Detail Harms Caused by Trump Admin

In Addition To Asking Supreme Court To Invalidate the ACA, Trump Admin Has Quietly Taken Harmful, Unlawful Action to Sabotage the Law

Washington, D.C. — Five U.S. cities and two individuals who rely on health insurance offered on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges filed a motion for summary judgment in their lawsuit against the Trump administration over its unlawful attempts to sabotage the ACA. The suit — brought by the cities of Columbus, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Philadelphia, as well as two residents of Corvallis, Oregon — seeks to set aside illegal and arbitrary and capricious policies implemented by the Trump administration that distort the ACA’s requirements and undermine its success in providing millions of Americans with affordable, high-quality health insurance.

Today’s motion follows a federal court’s rejection of the Trump administration’s attempt to dismiss the suit in April. Democracy Forward and Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP represent the plaintiffs in the litigation.

“The Trump administration’s persistent efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act are a clear attempt at death by a thousand cuts, but the real victims are Americans struggling in the middle of a pandemic,” said Democracy Forward Counsel John Lewis. “The administration’s unlawful actions drive up premiums, make enrollment more difficult, and cause more people to go without insurance.”

Since taking office, President Trump has made his desire to “totally kill” Obamacare clear, including its vital protections for people with preexisting conditions. His administration has attempted to accomplish that sabotage with its 2019 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters — the annual rule governing the ACA exchanges.

President Trump recently boasted that his administration has “slashed” the ACA’s requirements, which is precisely what the 2019 Rule does. Indeed, the 2019 Rule drives up premiums, increases administrative barriers to enrollment, and causes the uninsured and underinsured rates to increase.

For a rundown on the unlawful policies harming the cities, click here.

The Plaintiffs in this suit are paying the price. Because of the administration’s unlawful actions, the five cities must pay more to provide uncompensated care to their uninsured and underinsured residents.

The two individual Plaintiffs who rely on insurance offered on the exchanges — and who were only able to get coverage because of the ACA’s protections for those with preexisting conditions — have already seen their premiums spike thanks to the administration’s efforts to undermine the law. Their premiums cost an astounding $1,600 a month, thanks in part to the Trump administration’s actions.

The Plaintiffs first filed suit in August 2018 in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. In January 2019, the suit was amended and the City of Philadelphia joined. In June 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives, 20 states, 13 municipalities, four advocacy groups, and health insurance experts all filed briefs in support of the lawsuit. And in April 2020, the federal court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to have the lawsuit entirely dismissed.

The motion for summary judgment was filed on August 13. Read it in full here.


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.

Press Contact:

Charisma Troiano
Democracy Forward
(202) 701-1781