Update on Latest ACA Lawsuit
In February, a group of Republican state Attorneys General filed a case (Texas vs. US), which seeks to invalidate the ACA in its entirety. Their legal argument is that when last year’s tax reform law removed the penalty for the individual mandate starting in 2019, this not only essentially invalidates the mandate, but must also invalidate the entire ACA since the mandate is such an integral part of the law. Last week, the Department of Justice said that it would defend most of the ACA in this lawsuit but would not defend the ACA’s pre-existing conditions protections, since the guaranteed issue and community ratings provisions are cannot be severed from the individual mandate. Since then, a group of Democratic state Attorneys General, as well as a number of additional healthcare stakeholders, including patient groups, providers, and insurers, have filed briefs supporting the ACA in general and pre-existing conditions protections in particular. The legal process for this lawsuit will take several months and there would likely be Congressional and state action if the lawsuit is successful. NHF understands that many community members may have concerns about their access to coverage, and NHF will be closely monitoring the legal and political issues surrounding the lawsuit and will update the community as they progress.