California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is leading a coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia in filing a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a swift resolution to the Fifth Circuit's recent decision on the Affordable Care Act.
The Fifth Circuit held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but declined to further rule on the validity of the ACA. The court instead sent the case back to the Northern District of Texas to determine which provisions of the 900-page law are still valid.
Friday's filing by Democratic attorneys general asks the Supreme Court to review the case before the end of the Court's current term in June.
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The petition was filed by California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (by and through its Department of Commerce), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the Governor of Kentucky.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Friday's filing contends that providers, insurers, patients, employers, states and pharmaceutical companies will be impacted by the looming uncertainty of the Fifth Circuit's decision.
Also, the actions of the lower courts have cast doubt on hundreds of other statutory provisions that together regulate a substantial portion of the nation's economy, according to the petition. States, health insurers, and millions of Americans rely on those provisions when making important decisions.
The remand proceedings would only prolong and exacerbate the uncertainty already caused by this litigation, it said.
THE LARGER TREND
The lawsuit Texas v. U.S., originally filed by a Texas-led Republican coalition, and supported by the Trump Administration, argued that after Congress got rid of the tax penalty for not having ACA coverage, the entire law became unconstitutional.
ON THE RECORD
"While the Trump Administration fights to strip access to healthcare, our coalition moves forward to defend it -- because a pre-existing medical condition should never again disqualify you from receiving affordable healthcare," said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. "We'll continue to fight because our communities are healthier when everyone can access affordable care -- whether that means gaining coverage from Medicaid expansion or by staying on a parent's health insurance."
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