For immediate release: March 25th, 2019
NEW U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT LETTER IN TEXAS V. US SEEKS TO STRIKE ACA IN FULL, PUTTING THE HEALTH COVERAGE OF MILLIONS AT RISK
- The U.S. Justice Department filed a letter to support the court decision by Texas Judge O’Connor, which imperils the health coverage of tens of millions of Americans, at least 5 million in California alone–and the consumer protections for millions more.
- The decision goes well beyond the Trump Administration’s previous briefs, which was focused on striking down protections for patients with pre-existing conditions.
- California AG Xavier Becerra is leading the appeal, given catastrophic impact in California on coverage and consumer protections. California would lose over $25 billion for our health system–more than CA spends on higher education and prisons combined.
- If upheld, this decision will undo all pre-existing condition protections, as well as eliminate premium subsidies, expanded Medicaid, preventive services, and much more.
SACRAMENTO, CA — The U.S. Justice Department filed a letter today indicating a major shift in position, agreeing with a December 2018 ruling by Judge Reed O’Conner in Texas vs. United States to strike the entirety of the Affordable Care (ACA), due to the supposed unconstitutionality of the individual mandate in the law and its inseparability from the ACA as a whole. While the decision is being appealed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the ruling if upheld would take away coverage from millions of Californians and Americans, and consumer protections from millions more.
“The Trump Administration’s legal attack on our health system went from callous to catastrophic. Instead of just seeking to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions, their legal attack now seeks to rollback the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including undoing coverage and affordability assistance for tens of millions of Americans–over five million in California alone. In this Justice Department letter, the Trump Administration is seeking to use the courts to undo all the coverage expansions and consumer protections that voters just resoundingly endorsed in the last election,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. “We are thankful our Attorney General Xavier Becerra is appealing this decision and protecting our progress here in California.”
“California has the most to lose from this legal attack on the ACA. California saw the largest drop in the uninsured rate of all 50 states since 2013, after having one of the highest rates in the nation. What the Texas judge ruled, and the Justice Department is now agreeing with, is to defund California’s health system by over $25 billion/year–more than what the state spends on all of higher education, and all of prisons, combined. While California can and has done a lot to counter the federal government’s sabotage of our health system, this outcome advocated by the Trump Administration may be too overwhelming to overcome. California must continue to fight, against the Trump Administration’s doubling down on seeking to go back to the days of denials for pre-existing conditions, and millions more uninsured.”
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