**FILE** D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (Courtesy photo)
**FILE** D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has joined a 12-state coalition in filing a lawsuit against a new Trump administration mandate they say is a backdoor attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

The suit, filed Thursday against the Department of Labor, looks to overturn a department rule that would vastly expand the use of so-called “association health plans” in D.C. and across the country, the attorney general said.

The measure, which is set to go into effect next month, would endanger D.C.’s private health insurance market for small businesses and residents, as well as cause some residents to lose coverage while significantly raising premiums, the attorney general said in filing the suit.

“The Trump administration rule undoubtedly puts thousands of District residents at risk of skyrocketing premiums and losing health care altogether,” Racine said in a statement. “These junk plans offer substandard health coverage and threatens our local insurance market. With this lawsuit, we’re taking action to protect our residents’ access to decent, affordable coverage.”

Under the ACA, about 100,000 people who live or work in D.C. obtain health care insurance on DC Health Link, an online insurance marketplace. At the same time, D.C. reports the lowest rate of uninsured residents of any state-level jurisdiction.

“The Trump administration role opens the door to health insurance scams, insolvencies and discrimination against people with preexisting conditions,” said Mia Kofman, executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “AG Racine’s action is critical to protect D.C.’s small businesses and self-employed people from promoters who collect premiums for phony coverage and don’t pay claims.”

Kofman added that Racine’s action is critical for ensuring protection for people with preexisting conditions.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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