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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AG HERRING JOINS COALITION OF 12 STATE AGS TO FILE SUIT TO BLOCK TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

~ Association Health Plan Rule expands health plans that have a long history of fraud, mismanagement, and abuse – part of an effort to evade consumer protections and sabotage the ACA ~

RICHMOND (July 26, 2018) – Today, Attorney General Mark R. Herring joined a coalition of twelve Attorneys General to file a lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor’s Association Health Plan (AHP) Rule, which expands the criteria for forming AHPs in order to evade consumer protections and sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). AHPs have a long history of fraud, mismanagement, and abuse, with millions in unpaid claims for policyholders and providers, often leading to consumer bankruptcies.  

 

“The Association Health Plan Rule is just another way the Trump administration is working to undermine the Affordable Care Act,” said Attorney General Herring. “This AHP Rule would destabilize insurance markets and make consumers more vulnerable to fraud and abuse. I will continue to do everything I can to protect the progress that we have made under the ACA and make sure that politics does not get in the way of Virginians receiving affordable, high-quality health care.”

 

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

 

Over the last few decades, Congress has legislated – including through the ACA – to protect health care consumers from AHPs’ fraudulent conduct and to ensure consumers have comprehensive health coverage without having higher premiums or fewer benefits based on a pre-existing condition. The AHP Rule would undo critical federal consumer protections and unduly expand access to AHPs without sufficient justification or consideration of the consequences. 

 

President Trump himself cited the sabotage of the ACA as the clear purpose of the AHP Rule, proclaiming that it was a “truly historic step in our efforts to rescue Americans from Obamacare and the Obamacare nightmare” and would “escape some of Obamacare’s most burdensome mandates.”

 

The lawsuit filed today alleges that the Department of Labor violated the Administrative Procedures Act when it promulgated the AHP Rule. The lawsuit also argues that the Rule violates both the ACA and the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and that it unlawfully reverses decades of agency and judicial interpretation of ERISA’s key terms, with the primary purpose of undermining the ACA and without accounting for increased risk of fraud and harm to consumers based on a longstanding history of such conduct by similar plans. The Attorneys General are urging that the AHP Rule be vacated.

 

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