Press Release

Press Release AG Healey Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Review Affordable Care Act Case

Joins Multistate Coalition in Calling on SCOTUS to Review Fifth Circuit Ruling that Jeopardizes Health Care Coverage for Millions of Americans
For immediate release:
1/03/2020
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for AG Healey Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Review Affordable Care Act Case

Meggie Quackenbush

BostonAttorney General Maura Healey today joined a coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent court decision that could disrupt health care coverage for millions of Americans.

Today’s filing petitions the Supreme Court for review of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision on December 18, 2019 in Texas v. U.S., which held the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) individual mandate unconstitutional and called into question the remaining provisions of the ACA, including those that protect and provide coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions. The petition asks the Supreme Court to take up the case and resolve it before the end of the Court’s current term in June.  

“This ruling jeopardizes the health care coverage of millions of Americans who depend on the Affordable Care Act,” said AG Healey. “We are asking the Supreme Court to review the Fifth Circuit’s decision and quickly resolve the uncertainty it has caused for our families and our health care system.”

AG Healey joined a coalition of attorneys general led by California in defending the ACA after a Texas-led coalition supported by the Trump Administration sued to strike it down in February 2018. AG Healey and the coalition challenged the plaintiff’s argument that the ACA had been rendered unconstitutional by changes to the minimum coverage requirement adopted by Congress in 2017. This challenge has drawn support from bipartisan groups of scholars and economists, as well as public health experts, hospital and provider associations, health insurers, patient groups, and cities across the country.

Last month, the Fifth Circuit held that the individual mandate is unconstitutional but declined to rule on the validity of the ACA’s remaining provisions. The court instead sent the case back to the Northern District of Texas to determine which provisions of the law are still valid. 

Today’s filing makes clear that patients, doctors, hospitals, employers, states, pharmaceutical companies and more will be impacted by the looming uncertainty of the Fifth Circuit’s decision and highlights important advancements in health care access made under the ACA, including:

  • More than 12 million Americans receiving coverage through Medicaid expansion, including 350,000 Massachusetts residents;
  • Nearly 9 million individuals nationwide receiving tax credits to help afford health insurance coverage through individual marketplaces;
  • Millions of working families relying on high-quality employer-sponsored insurance plans; 
  • Important protections prohibiting insurers from denying health insurance to the 133 million Americans, including 2.5 million Massachusetts residents, with pre-existing conditions or charging individuals higher premiums because of their health status; and
  • Nearly $1.3 trillion in federal funding dedicated to keeping Americans healthy and covered, including Medicaid expansion and public health dollars.

Joining AG Healey in today’s filing are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota (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.

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Media Contact for AG Healey Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Review Affordable Care Act Case

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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