What We're Reading: States Sue Over ACA; Trump, Governors Talk About Mental Health; EPA Closes Science Center

A lawsuit filed Monday by 20 red states argues that the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s individual mandate—and the law itself—is invalid; President Donald Trump brought up the issue of mental hospitals in a meeting with governors, and the administration said it is "actively exploring" ways to help states expand inpatient mental health treatment using Medicaid funds; an EPA center that distributes grants and fellowships to test the effects of chemical exposure on adults and children will be dissolved and consolidated within the agency.

20 States Sue Administration Hoping to Overturn ACA

Trump, Governors Discuss Inpatient Mental Health in Meeting

EPA to Close Science Center That Studies Effects of Chemicals on Human Health

A lawsuit filed Monday by 20 red states, including Texas and Wisconsin, argues that the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s individual mandate—and the law itself—is invalid, Politico reported. The complaint was filed in a US District Court in the Northern District of Texas. The suit said that since Congress repealed the individual mandate's tax penalty for not having coverage, that means that both the mandate and the law are invalid. In 2012 the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare’s individual mandate in one of the highest-profile court cases in years. The states are hoping to use that ruling in their suit. President Donald Trump again brought up the issue of mental hospitals in a meeting with governors on Monday, and the administration said it is "actively exploring" ways to help states expand inpatient mental health treatment using Medicaid funds, the Associated Press reported. The discussion came in the wake of the public outcry over the Florida mass school shooting nearly 2 weeks ago. Mental health advocates and state officials said no one wants to go back to the days of institutions warehousing patients, but they do want a reversal of a decades-old law known as the "IMD exclusion. " IMD stands for institution for mental diseases. The exclusion bars Medicaid from paying for treatment in mental health facilities with more than 16 beds.The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), which distributes grants to test the effects of chemical exposure on adults and children, will no longer exist following plans to consolidate 3 EPA offices, The Hill reported. The program, best known for fellowship that study the effects of chemicals on children’s health, provides millions of dollars in grants annually. NCER will be dissolved and science staff serving there will be reassigned elsewhere within the department.