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July 29, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL FILES REPLY BRIEF IN SUPREME COURT CASE TO SAVE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia, today filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against efforts to repeal the entire ACA. The reply brief was filed as the court reviews a decision in a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas and the federal government that would dismantle the entire ACA, putting the health care of tens of millions of Americans at risk.

The court agreed to review a 5th Circuit decision that held the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional and called into question whether the remaining provisions of the law could still stand. The decision jeopardizes states’ Medicaid expansions, important public health programs that help combat COVID-19, and subsidies that help working families access care, among countless other. If successful, this lawsuit would rescind critical health care coverage protections for 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, including by allowing health insurance companies to deny individuals care or charge more based on their health status. In today’s reply brief, Raoul and the coalition argue that the ACA is not only legal, but is a crucial resource for Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the inequity in our nation’s health care system and highlighted the urgent need for all Americans to have access to quality health care coverage,” Raoul said. “Repealing the Affordable Care Act will reduce access to health care for all and will have devastating consequences for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

In today’s filing, the coalition pushes back against the arguments made by the federal government and the Texas coalition. The reply brief makes clear that patients, doctors, hospitals, employers, workers, and states will be negatively impacted by the litigation and adverse ruling. A decision supporting the federal government and Texas would put at risk important advancements in health care access made under the ACA, including:

  • More than 12 million Americans receiving coverage through Medicaid expansion.
  • Nearly 9 million individuals nationwide receiving tax credits to help them 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 with preexisting conditions (like diabetes, cancer, or pregnancy) or from charging individuals higher premiums because of their health status.
  • Improved payment reforms and increased access to Medicare for seniors and people who have disabilities.
  • Nearly $1.3 trillion in federal funding being dedicated to keeping Americans healthy and covered, including Medicaid expansion and public health dollars.
  • The expansion of health insurance and services that have been critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining Raoul in defending the ACA are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (by and through its Department of Commerce), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, as well as the governor of Kentucky.

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