Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joined 15 attorneys general yesterday in a motion to intervene in Texas et al. v. United States et al., a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Texas which seeks to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Texas lawsuit aims to reduce health care coverage and funding for all Americans, particularly more vulnerable groups like seniors, children, and people with chronic medical conditions or disabilities.
“If successful, the Texas lawsuit will hurt millions of families and children across the country and in Oregon,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “If we are permitted to intervene, we are prepared to fight this assault on our people and our health care system.”
The lawsuit petitioned the federal court to stop Medicaid expansion; end tax credits that help people afford insurance; allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; take away seniors’ prescription drug discounts; strip funding from our nation’s public health system, including work to combat the opioid epidemic; and much more. Those living in the states seeking to intervene could lose half a trillion dollars in healthcare funding if this lawsuit is successful.
Texas filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division on February 28, 2018 and was joined by 19 other states. Texas alleges that the ACA is no longer constitutional due to the passage of the Republican tax break bill, passed in December 2017, which zeroed out the penalty payment due under the ACA’s individual mandate for those who could afford to pay for their health insurance but failed to do so.
In the motion to intervene, the 16 state attorneys general allege that the ACA has not been repealed by the passage of the congressional tax break bill, and its constitutionality has been upheld by the Supreme Court:
- The ACA has survived nearly 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts in Congress since it was passed in 2010.
- In National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (2012), the Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate is constitutional.
- Every state in the United States would suffer grave harm if the plaintiffs achieved the goals of their lawsuit.
Joining Attorney General Rosenblum in filing the motion were the Attorneys General of: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.