Repealing Obamacare May Violate International Law

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

According to the Washington Post, the United Nations has informed the Trump regime that kicking 30 million people off their healthcare may violate international law and human rights.

This is news to us and it was apparently news to congressional leadership who weren't aware of it because it was buried by the White House.

A confidential, five-page “urgent appeal” from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, sent to the Trump administration, cautions that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could put the United States at odds with its international obligations. [...]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s office said they didn’t receive the letter, and officials in House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offices said Tuesday that they were unaware of it. The letter did make its way to the Department of Health and Human Services, where an employee leaked it to congressional Democratic leadership. A State Department spokesman said my inquiry was “the first I’m hearing of this.”

More specifically, the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights says repealing the law without passing an adequate replacement could violate human rights. As you know, the GOP's "replacement," if you could even call it that, is not adequate.

I don't expected this will change the calculus for congressional Republicans who still want to repeal the law, but I'm sure this is how it would be covered by the international press.

As of this writing, the House Freedom Caucus has announced their support for a repeal bill that eliminates coverage for pre-existing conditions, but some moderate Republicans in the so-called Tuesday Group have already committed to protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions, meaning it may be no closer to passing.

In any event, the rest of the world is looking at us in horror.

  • Michael B. Conway

    The perfect excuse for Trump to withdraw from the UN.

  • Tony Lavely

    I hate to say it, but this is probably a BIG plus to Trump’s base. Don’t they all hate the UN? All those libruls in librul land (That is New York, right?)

  • muselet

    I’d never thought about it, but this makes sense.

    The ACA improved access to healthcare, so repealing it would be problematic under—as it turns out—several international agreements. It’s not surprising the UNHCHR would object, nor that the Trump administration would pretend it never received the Special Rapporteur’s letter.

    All in all, pretty predictable.


  • ninjaf

    I am surprised they aren’t screaming this from the rooftops on all conservative media. This is exactly what they have “warned” about. The US is losing our autonomy and now has to be “ruled” by the rest of the world.

    I am sure this will be their spin.

    • muselet

      It is. Righty media are going ape-scat over this story.


      • ninjaf

        Well, there you go. smh

  • Username1016

    In a sick sort of way, that is hilarious. An international law that the U.S. was probably instrumental in putting in place — in our traditional role of policing bad practices in the Third World — bites the Clown Dictator in the butt. Because it’s calibrated to put the brakes on Third World kakistocracies. How prescient of our earlier leaders!

    • Scopedog

      Also nice that the letter was leaked to the Congressional leadership by an employee at the DHHS. Thankfully, there are people in Washington who will still choose country over party.