CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and 10 other attorneys general, including Greg Abbott of Texas, sent a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday about a proposed Affordable Care Act change.
The coalition of attorneys general commented on the Obama Administration’s recent announcement that insurance companies would be allowed to continue offering plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s mandates. The letter opposes the new rule, alleging it is flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.
The seven-page letter addressed to Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS secretary, alleges President Obama is violating his responsibility to execute laws faithfully and the separation of powers between the branches of government.
“We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but any changes to the law must be done legally and through the proper channels,” Morrisey said. “The administration may not decide single-handedly which parts of the law it will enforce and which parts it will ignore. The only way to fix this problem-ridden law is through congressional action.”
The letter also expressed concern that the Obama Administration is failing to address security issues related to consumers’ private information as they enroll in healthcare exchanges.
“Each of us is charged with protecting our states’ consumers,” Morrisey said. “Once a person’s private information is breached, it is very hard to ensure it is secure again. We are troubled that the administration has not even proposed implementing criminal background checks on people who have access to sensitive private information.”
Morrisey said the attorneys general will continue to voice concerns until they are sure consumers are protected and the administration begins respecting the rule of law.
In addition to West Virginia and Texas, also joining the letter were attorneys general representing Virginia, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan, Louisiana, Kansas, Idaho, Georgia and Alabama.