Vox had an interesting article explaining how Trump’s admission and attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act violates his sworn oath to the Constitution. “The president has a legal obligation, under Article II of the US Constitution, to “take Care that the laws be faithfully executed.” That means he must make sure that our laws are implemented in good faith and that he uses his executive discretion reasonably toward that end.”
Additionally, his Administration and agencies also have a legal obligation, under the Administrative Procedure Act not to abuse their power by engaging in arbitrary action. The intentional sabotage of the ACA that we have seen over the past nine months violates both Trump’s constitutional obligations and quite possibly the obligations of his Department of Health and Human Services.
His legal responsibility and moral obligation is to “take care” that the laws are enforced and implemented. Since he has flouted this obligation, lawsuits by individuals and states harmed by the damage will be filed.
Trump refuses to support the open enrollment period — in which individuals must sign up for insurance or lose their chance to do so. The ACA requires the federal government to, among other things, maintain a website and work with local “navigators” and other groups to educate consumers and encourage them to sign up for insurance. Trump instead has set out to make open enrollment a failure.
He cut the enrollment period in half, from three months to six weeks. He shut down the federal enrollment website for nearly 12 hours every Sunday during the crucial period. He has canceled events in which federal officials had planned to help with enrollment. He cut advertising for enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to $10 million, even though his administration charged insurers on the exchanges user fees to generate money for that same advertising. (Those fees far exceeded $10 million.)
Trump announced his plan to cut off important cost-sharing payments that the ACA promises to insurers to compensate them for reducing what individuals have to pay in premiums, creating extreme instability in the insurance industry.
“The president has a right not to like the ACA. But so long as it is the law of the land, he does not have the right to undermine it through the use of executive power.
“Faithful” execution of a law that is validly on the books is what the words of the Constitution require of Trump — until Congress decides otherwise.”