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Monthly Archives

February 2021

COVERAGE: Biden Picks Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to Lead CMS

Yesterday, Biden selected Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Brooks-LaSure previously served as a senior CMS official during the Obama administration and was instrumental in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Coverage shows she is a strong health care advocate with the experience needed to expand access to health care coverage, make care more affordable, and get the pandemic under control. 

Politico: Brooks-LaSure “Will Play A Leading Role In Crafting Biden’s Plans To Expand On The Health Care Law — And Unwind Much Of The Trump Administration’s Efforts To Minimize It.” “Brooks-LaSure, an Obama administration veteran who oversaw implementation of Obamacare, if confirmed will play a leading role in crafting Biden’s plans to expand on the health care law – and unwind much of the Trump administration’s efforts to minimize it.” [Politico, 2/17/21

Brooks-LaSure Helped Draft The Affordable Care Act As A Health Staffer On The House Ways And Means Committee. “Prior to her stint in the Obama administration, she worked on parts of Obamacare during the law’s drafting as a health staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee. It was there she forged working ties with then-Rep. Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to run the health department that houses CMS.” [Politico, 2/17/21

CNN: “Brooks-LaSure Would Be A Key Player In Executing Biden’s Promises To Rebuild The Affordable Care Act And Strengthen Medicaid.” “Brooks-LaSure would be a key player in executing Biden’s promises to rebuild the Affordable Care Act and strengthen Medicaid — as well as institute a government-run public option and lower Medicare’s eligibility age to 60, from 65. The $1 trillion agency, the largest within HHS, oversees much of Obamacare and the federal exchange, In total, more than 145 million Americans receive their health coverage through programs the agency administers, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act.” [CNN, 2/17/21

CNN: “Brooks-LSure Would Be Tasked With Reversing Many Of The Policies Put In Place By Her Predecessor, Seema Verma.” “Brooks-LaSure would be tasked with reversing many of the policies put in place by her predecessor, Seema Verma, who served as the agency’s administrator for nearly four years. Under Verma’s tenure, CMS slashed funding for Obamacare marketing and outreach, cut the open enrollment period in half and promoted the use of private insurance brokers over non-profit navigators to help people find coverage.” [CNN, 2/17/21

Stat: “Brooks-LaSure Is Well-Positioned To Pursue One Of Biden’s Signature Campaign Promises: Strengthening And Expanding The Affordable Care Act.” “Brooks-LaSure is well-positioned to pursue one of Biden’s signature campaign promises: strengthening and expanding the Affordable Care Act. She was a key drafter of the law as a staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee. Brooks-LaSure later held high-profile positions in two offices tasked with implementing the ACA: the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and the Office of Health Reform.” [Stat, 2/17/21

Stat: Brooks-LaSure Would “Inherit An Agency Dogged By Countless Controversies During The Trump Administration.” “Brooks-LaSure would also inherit an agency dogged by countless controversies during the Trump administration. Many centered on the former CMS administrator, Seema Verma, who pursued policies that transformed the agency’s mission and repeatedly landed it in court. Brooks-LaSure would inherit those lawsuits, most notably a Supreme Court case set to be argued in March challenging the agency’s new policy of denying health coverage to unemployed Medicaid beneficiaries.” [Stat, 2/17/21

One Month In: Joe Biden’s Health Care Presidency

After just one month in office, President Biden has proven he is a health care president. President Biden has taken swift action to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care all while working to contain the coronavirus pandemic. President Biden has proposed the American Rescue Plan to help the country get the pandemic under control, put forth policies that will build on the strong foundation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), opened a special enrollment period to help Americans get coverage, removed barriers to enrolling in Medicaid, and reversed the Trump administration’s dangerous position trying to invalidate the ACA. This is a stark contrast from the past four years of Republican sabotage on health care. 

On Increasing Health Care Access & Prioritizing Health Care Equity 

  • President Biden reopened for a special enrollment period to help Americans gain coverage as they continue to suffer from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Reopening the ACA Marketplace means nearly 9 million people will be eligible for free or subsidized health insurance coverage.
  • The Biden administration will invest $50 million in marketing and education efforts during the special enrollment period to reach groups that have historically experienced lower access to health coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes.
  • President Biden established a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to mitigate the health disparities revealed and exacerbated by the pandemic. 
  • President Biden directed federal agencies to consider actions to strengthen and protect access to health care. 

On Reversing Trump Sabotage

  • The Biden administration announced it will defend the Affordable Care Act in California v. Texas, the lawsuit before the Supreme Court to completely dismantle the law. This move reverses the Trump administration’s support for ripping away coverage from more than 20 million Americans and protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions.
  • President Biden directed federal agencies to re-examine policies that undermine the ACA and Medicaid. These policies include:
  • Policies that undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including COVID-19
  • ACA and Medicaid waivers that could reduce enrollment, including Medicaid work requirements
  • Policies that undermine the ACA Marketplace 
  • Policies that make it more difficult to enroll in the ACA or Medicaid
  • Policies that reduce coverage affordability or limit financial assistance 
  • The Biden administration sent letters to states signaling it would end Trump’s disastrous work requirements program. 

On The American Rescue Plan

  • Upon taking office, President Biden immediately introduced the American Rescue Plan, a bold plan designed to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The package includes important measures to reduce health care costs and expand coverage for low- and middle-class families, many of whom may be out of work or facing income loss during the pandemic. The legislation is working through Congress and expected to pass in the coming weeks. The American Rescue plan: 
    • Lowers health care costs for millions by increasing financial assistance in the exchanges for the next two years and making financial assistance more widely available to middle class families, ensuring people purchasing coverage on the ACA marketplaces will not pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for coverage. Similar legislation previously passed by the House would lower costs for more than 10 million Americans and provide affordable options for uninsured Americans at a time when access to health care is paramount. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 1.3 million uninsured people would gain coverage as a result of these provisions alone. 
    • Expands coverage by providing robust financial incentives for the 14 states that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion. For example, Georgia would receive nearly $2 billion in federal funding over the next two years, more than enough to cover the cost of expansion. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, if these states implemented expansion, nearly four million uninsured adults — including 640,000 frontline workers — could gain coverage.
    • Increases vaccine distribution by investing $160 billion in direct COVID-19 response, including ramping up vaccination efforts, boosting testing, shoring up supplies of PPE, expanding sequencing and analytics efforts, and hiring 100,000 public health workers. This much needed funding will make sure more Americans are able to get vaccinated more quickly, which is key to getting the pandemic under control.
    • Strengthens health care in vulnerable communities by providing health services for underserved populations, including expanding Community Health Centers and investing in health services on tribal lands. These funds will support the expansion of COVID treatment and care as well as provide the vaccine to underserved populations.

Protect Our Care Applauds Biden’s Selection of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to Head CMS

Washington, DC — Today, the Washington Post reported President Joe Biden has selected Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Chiquita Brooks-LaSure will do a great job as the Administrator of CMS. She understands the issues and she cares deeply about the mission. She has the experience necessary to hit the ground running as the head of CMS, and she will use that experience to lower the costs of health care and make sure more Americans can access the coverage they need. Congress must move to confirm her and the rest of President Biden’s health care team quickly so they can take the steps necessary to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and get our country back on track.”

SIDE BY SIDE: What Open Enrollment Looks Like Under President Biden After Four Years of Trump Sabotage

On Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the Affordable Care Act Marketplace for enrollment as Americans continue to face the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. This move ensures that everyone—including those who lost employer coverage and those who were uninsured before the crisis—can get covered beyond the standard open enrollment period. The Trump administration refused to take this important step despite pleas from health care experts, health insurers and lawmakers. 

Open enrollment under President Biden will look significantly different from the past four years. In 2017, Trump cut the outreach and advertising budget for enrollment by 90 percent. Funding for advertising and outreach remained at diminished levels for the 2021 enrollment period, even as millions lost coverage as a result of the pandemic. The Trump administration also cut the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days. This was on top of ongoing efforts to dismantle the ACA, which undoubtedly created confusion among consumers. Unsurprisingly, millions lost coverage under Trump even before the pandemic. 

The Biden administration, on the other hand, is spending five times more on education and outreach during this special enrollment period than Trump spent for the standard enrollment period. The Biden administration has also pledged to prioritize reaching groups that historically have experienced lower access to health coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes. President Biden is also leading the charge to pass the American Rescue Plan which includes key provisions to expand coverage and lower health care costs for American families.


Trump’s PlanPresident Biden’s Plan 
Efforts to expand health coverage during the pandemicNone 

Trump instead pursued harmful waivers to reduce Medicaid enrollment, including block grants and work requirements, in the middle of the pandemic. 

Opened a special enrollment period

Biden directed the HHS to examine policies that undermine the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Additionally, the Biden administration announced it would end Medicaid work requirements as part of its efforts to remove enrollment barriers.

Funding for education, outreach & advertisingCut funding for outreach and advertising to just $10 million for the standard enrollment period Dedicating $50 milion for the special enrollment period alone 
Duration of enrollment period45 days90 days for the special enrollment period in addition to the standard enrollment period later this year
Efforts to enroll hard-to-reach populations, including communities of color & non-English speakersNone — the Trump administration stopped engaging with partner groups, such as the Latino Affordable Care Act Coalition, women’s groups, medical organizations, and churches. CMS will collaborate with community partners to reach groups that historically have experienced lower access to health coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes.

THEN/NOW: February 15, 2017 vs February 15, 2021

What a difference a new administration makes. For four years, Donald Trump and his Republican allies waged a war on America’s health care. President Biden opening a special enrollment period four years to the day of Donald Trump trying to tear apart the ACA marketplaces is a prime example of the stark differences between these two administrations.

THEN:Trump Administration’s New Health Rule Would Reduce Tax Credits, Raise Costs, For Millions of Moderate-Income Families.” “The Trump Administration’s new proposed rule on health care would raise premiums, out-of-pocket costs, or both for millions of moderate-income families…If finalized as proposed, the rule would reduce the amount of health care that marketplace plans have to cover. As a result, the rule would force millions of families to choose between higher premiums and worse coverage.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/15/17

NOW: President Biden To Open Up The Federal Health Insurance Marketplace For Three Months. “The move is in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s approach. As covid-19 took hold last spring and the economy imploded, health experts pleaded with the Trump administration to open up the federal marketplace so people could buy insurance to protect themselves during the worst public health emergency in a century…The Biden administration is promising to spend $50 million on outreach and education to get the word out about the new special enrollment period. That’s critical, experts said. [Kaiser Health News, 2/16/21

ACA Special Enrollment Period Begins to Provide Relief to Americans Battling Pandemic

Robust Outreach and Education Campaign WIll Reach More Americans with Information About Affordable Coverage Options

Washington, DC — Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the Affordable Care Act Marketplace for enrollment, as Americans continue to face the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. President Biden enacted the special enrollment period with a January executive order. The Marketplace opens today and will remain open through Saturday, May 15. According to CMS, 9 in 10 current Marketplace enrollees receive financial help, and 75 percent of consumers can find a plan for $50 or less. CMS will also launch outreach efforts including broadcast, radio, and digital advertising to let people know they may be eligible for subsidies. These outreach efforts will prioritize reaching groups that historically have experienced lower access to health coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“President Biden is delivering on his health care promises. For four years, Republicans waged a war on America’s health care. President Biden is doing the opposite. Thanks to the President’s actions, millions of Americans will now be able to buy affordable quality health insurance for themselves and their families. This is so important during this pandemic, when millions have lost their job or can no longer afford their insurance and where every American is worried about their access to health care. The President’s announcement of a $50 million marketing campaign will mean more Americans know that affordable health insurance is now within their reach. This move comes on the heels of a historic week for health care, where the House Democrats strengthened the already substantial health care provisions proposed by President Biden in the American Rescue Plan. It’s clear President Biden and Democrats are using every tool at their disposal to build on the strong foundation of the Affordable Care Act to lower costs and expand coverage.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Votes Through Critical Medicaid Measures in American Rescue Plan

Washington, DC — House Democrats, led by Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), passed key Medicaid measures of the American Rescue Plan out of the Energy and Commerce Committee last night. This bill would incentivize the 12 remaining holdout states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. If these states expanded Medicaid, nearly four million uninsured adults — including 640,000 frontline workers — could gain coverage. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“This is a big week for health care in America. The Medicaid provisions in this bill are historic and incredibly popular with Americans. Medicaid expansion has played a vital role in reducing racial disparities in health care access and has served as a critical safety net for millions of Americans. Providing increased financial incentives for states to expand Medicaid could extend coverage to millions more. These provisions also work to reduce racial inequities by addressing the maternal mortality crisis, by enabling states to expand Medicaid coverage to new mothers 12 months postpartum. House Democrats are taking decisive action to deliver on their health care promises to lower costs and get more people covered right as Americans need it most, as they deal with the health and economic catastrophe caused by the pandemic. Democrats are using every method they can to get Americans relief, and Republicans should be ashamed of trying to block these efforts.”

President Biden Reverses Trump Era Dangerous, Mean-Spirited, Wholly Ineffective Medicaid Work Requirements Which Had One Goal: Kicking People Off Medicaid

Washington, DC — Today, the Biden administration will notify states it will revoke dangerous Medicaid work requirements, continuing the reversal of Trump’s four years of health care sabotage. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled that these requirements were “arbitrary and capricious” while failing to advance the purposes of Medicaid. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“President Biden is reversing one of the worst vestiges of Trump’s health care sabotage. Trump foisted these burdensome and ineffective paperwork requirements onto states to block people in need of health care from accessing Medicaid. President Biden’s roll back of this dangerous policy couldn’t come at a more critical time, as Americans battle the ongoing health and economic catastrophe caused by President Trump’s failure to address the coronavirus pandemic. The only purpose of these dangerous requirements was to kick people off Medicaid and continue the Trump administration’s relentless war on Medicaid and American health care. Good riddance.” 

House Ways and Means Committee Votes Through Vital Health Care Measures in American Rescue Plan

Washington, DC — House Democrats, led by Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-01), passed key health care measures of the American Rescue Plan out of the Ways and Means Committee today. These major provisions will lower health care costs and expand coverage, building on the Affordable Care Act. Increasing financial assistance on the ACA Marketplace means more people will be able to get the affordable coverage they need during the pandemic. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“This is a big week for health care in America. After four years of Republican sabotage, lawsuits and repeated efforts to repeal the ACA, millions more Americans will soon have quality health care they can afford. These health care provisions are going to make a real difference in the lives of Americans. Democrats are lowering the cost of premiums for millions by increasing financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act and making that support available to more middle class families. These measures eliminate premiums for people who are receiving unemployment insurance so they can continue to have access to care. Making health care more affordable and accessible is even more critical during this pandemic. Americans in red states and blue states are united behind these ideas and Republicans should listen to their voters and stop their opposition. Democrats are right to use every tool at their disposal to get Americans the relief they need.”

COVERAGE: It’s a Big Week in Health Care (And It’s Only Thursday)

Democrats Make Historic Strides in Health Care

Just three weeks into Joe Biden’s presidency, he’s already proven himself as a health care champion. Since taking office, President Biden proposed the American Rescue Plan to help the country get the pandemic under control, proposed significant enhancements to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, and announced an upcoming special enrollment period so people impacted by the pandemic can get health insurance. This week, House Democrats worked to strengthen the vital health care provisions in the American Rescue Plan, and President Biden reversed Trump’s health care sabotage by putting the full support of the administration behind the ACA and denouncing the reckless lawsuit to invalidate the law. Coverage shows President Biden is prioritizing strengthening the ACA by expanding access to insurance and lowering costs. 

Democrats Include Key Health Care Measures In Their COVID Relief Package

Politico: Democrats Push Temporary Obamacare Expansion In Covid Bill. “Pieces of the Covid-19 relief package House Democrats released Monday night include the first major expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies in more than a decade — a key plank of President Joe Biden’s health care agenda that they hope to pass in the coming weeks. Democrats are hoping that the beefed up subsidies, combined with Biden’s recent executive order to reopen the ACA’s markets and advertise heavily to entice people to enroll, will make a major dent in the ranks of uninsured Americans that have grown during the pandemic and ensuing economic recession.” [Politico, 2/8/21

The Hill: House Dems’ COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes 2-Year Boost To ObamaCare Subsidies. “House Democrats’ coronavirus relief legislation released Monday would increase the Affordable Care Act’s financial assistance for two years, providing greater help for enrollees’ to afford their premiums…Increasing ObamaCare’s financial assistance to make premiums more affordable has been a major Democratic goal for years, viewed as an improvement to the original ACA, but has been blocked by Republicans who oppose spending more money on a health care law they oppose.” [The Hill, 2/8/21

Washington Post: Affordable Care Act Subsidies Likely To Increase Under Congressional Plan. “The expansion of federal subsidies for Affordable Care Act health plans, stretching to reach people who are in the middle class or unemployed, is woven into a proposal the House Ways and Means Committee is expected to approve by the end of this week. The proposal also would raise ACA insurance subsidies for consumers already eligible for that help. The ideas have been adopted in the past year by the Democratic-led House but had no chance of becoming reality until the Senate and the White House shifted last month into Democratic hands.” [Washington Post, 2/10/21

Axios: Democrats Eye Big ACA Changes In COVID Relief Bill. “Democrats’ coronavirus relief proposal includes major changes to the Affordable Care Act, aiming to make health insurance more affordable for the millions of people who have lost their employer-based coverage during the pandemic.” [Axios, 2/10/21

Washington Post: The Health 202: Democrats Are Using Their Coronavirus Relief Package To Try Expanding Health Coverage.  “Legislation from the House Energy and Commerce Committee offers the dozen states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid programs under Obamacare a fresh new incentive to do so. Under the proposal released late last night, the federal government would cover an extra 5 percent of costs for all of their Medicaid enrollees – not just the expansion population – if states agreed to expand the program. The extra contributions would last two years.” [Washington Post, 2/10/21]

The Hill: Black Maternal Health Omnibus Package Introduced By Democratic Lawmakers. “A trio of Black lawmakers on Monday introduced an omnibus bill aimed at combating the significant health inequities that Black mothers face across the country…The package of bills would fund community organizations and state and local governments working to improve maternal health outcomes, training programs on bias, racism and discrimination in maternity care settings, and efforts to grow the perinatal workforce. It would also seek to address social determinants of health that can lead to poor health outcomes including access to housing, healthy food and water, transportation, child care services and improving access to health care.”  [The Hill, 2/8/21

Washington Post: The Health 202: Congress Is Moving To Lengthen Medicaid Coverage For New Moms. “Congressional Democrats have taken on a side project as they push forward President Biden’s coronavirus relief bill: nudging states to broaden their Medicaid programs. That includes lengthening coverage for new moms — a key Medicaid population who, in some states, can still get kicked off the program relatively quickly after giving birth. Legislation being marked up today says state Medicaid programs can cover new mothers for a full year.” [Washington Post, 2/11/21]

Stat: House Democrats Slip Drug-Pricing Proposal Into Covid-19 Relief Bill. “The policy aims to help states recoup some of the costs they incur in their Medicaid programs when drug makers hike the prices of certain drugs. Right now, federal law caps how much states can collect. Congress’s new policy would rescind that so-called ‘Medicaid rebate cap.’ The policy will have the biggest impact on drugs like insulin, which have seen massive price hikes and for which drug makers also give big discounts to private insurers.” [Stat, 2/9/21

President Biden Defends The ACA In Court

Wall Street Journal: Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court To Reject Challenge To Affordable Care Act. “The move was expected, as President Biden campaigned on expanding Obamacare along with a more vigorous federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. Former President Trump throughout his term denounced the signature law of the Obama administration, although he never proposed any alternative healthcare program after the Republican-controlled Congress rejected legislation to repeal the measure.” [Wall Street Journal, 2/10/21

Washington Post: Biden Administration Tells Supreme Court Obamacare Is Constitutional, Should Be Saved. “Just as Trump vowed to demolish Obamacare, as former president Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement is known, Biden, who was Obama’s vice president, promised during the 2020 campaign to strengthen and build on the health-care law.” [Washington Post, 2/10/21

New York Times: Biden Administration Urges Supreme Court To Uphold Affordable Care Act. “In the years since the enactment of the law in 2010, Republicans have worked hard to destroy it, and President Donald J. Trump relentlessly criticized it. But attempts to repeal it failed, as did two earlier Supreme Court challenges, in 2012 and 2015. With the passing years, the law grew in popularity and was woven into the fabric of the health care system, and its future has appeared increasingly secure.” [New York Times, 2/10/21

CNN: Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court To Save Obamacare, Flipping Trump Arguments. “The Biden administration told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it should uphold the Affordable Care Act, reversing the position of the Trump administration that had urged the justices to strike down the entire law amid the coronavirus pandemic…Wednesday’s move highlights President Joe Biden’s belief that the law is on strong legal footing. Last month, Biden announced he would reopen enrollment on the Affordable Care Act exchanges for three months, announcing that he was signing executive orders related to the law to ‘undo the damage Trump has done.’ The special enrollment period starts on Monday.” [CNN, 2/10/21

The Hill: Biden Administration Urges Supreme Court To Uphold ObamaCare. “The Biden administration on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act, a reversal from the Trump administration’s backing of a constitutional challenge to the sweeping health care law…The development, while unsurprising, marked a dramatic shift in legal positions since November when the justices heard oral arguments in the case.” [The Hill, 2/10/21

Politico: Biden Admin Asks SCOTUS To Uphold Obamacare, Reversing Trump Support For Lawsuit. “The Biden administration is withdrawing the federal government’s support for a challenge to Obamacare, telling the Supreme Court that the law should remain on the books. The move by the Justice Department follows speculation on whether Biden would try to withdraw from the high-profile red state lawsuit — fully supported by the Trump administration — to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act.” [Politico, 2/10/21

Modern Healthcare: Biden Administration Supports ACA At Supreme Court, Drops Trump-Era Challenge. “While the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the Biden administration on Wednesday took steps to support the landmark healthcare law. In a letter to the high court, the Justice Department under the new administration said it believes Obamacare’s individual mandate is constitutional. But if the justices disagree, the Biden administration believes the rest of the Affordable Care Act can stand without the provision requiring insurance coverage.” [Modern Healthcare, 2/10/21

Reuters: Biden Administration Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Uphold Obamacare Law. “President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Obamacare healthcare law should be upheld, reversing the position taken by the government under his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.” [Reuters, 2/10/21

NBC News: Justice Department Switches Sides, Urging Supreme Court To Uphold Obamacare. “The Justice Department notified the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it no longer supports the effort by Texas and other red states to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.” [NBC News, 2/10/21