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FILE - The Dome of the US Capitol building is visible on the morning of the State of the Union, Feb. 5, 2019. VOA

Health care has re-emerged as a major focus of U.S. political parties with the Trump administration advocating striking down the entire Affordable Care Act and Democrats introducing legislation to strengthen the law that has been in place since 2010.

The Justice Department on Monday backed a federal court ruling declaring the entire ACA unconstitutional on the basis that without the fines for not having health insurance, which a Republican-led Congress passed last year, the mandate for having coverage should not be allowed.


That went against the administration’s earlier position that while some parts of the ACA should be struck down, not all of it should be thrown out.


FILE – People wait in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the orders being issued, in Washington, U.S. March 18, 2019. VOA

Trump told reporters Tuesday he wanted alternatives to the law, which was one of the chief policies enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama.

“The Republican Party will become ‘The Party of Healthcare!'” he wrote on Twitter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer signaled his party is happy to take on the issue, especially following the end of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign. Schumer said issues such as healthcare and climate change are much more important to voters.

The issue was a key part of the party’s 2018 congressional election strategy, which put Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, walks to a Democratic Caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, March 26, 2019. VOA

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled Democratic proposals she says would improve upon the existing law, while accusing Republicans of working only to “destroy the affordable health care of America’s families.”

ALSO READ: Trump Celebrates when Found No Evidence of Collusion with Russia in 2016 Election

The legislation would seek to make health insurance plans more affordable by boosting subsidies to lower-income households, provide more protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and boost outreach and enrollment efforts to help people better understand what insurance options exist for them.

The legal battle over the existing law could end up at the Supreme Court, which previously upheld the individual mandate with its financial penalties as a legal tax Congress was allowed to impose. The five justices in the majority on that case remain on the court. (VOA)

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The Centre on Wednesday directed all Union Ministries and Departments to clear Air India's dues immediately.

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"Air India has stopped extending credit facilities on account of purchase of air tickets. Therefore, all Ministries or Departments are directed to clear Air India's dues immediately." "Air tickets from Air India may be purchased in cash till further instructions."



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