For immediate release: Monday, July 8th, 2019
Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access, 916-870-4782 (cell)
Rachel Linn Gish, Director of Communications, Health Access, 916-532-2128 (cell)
HIGH STAKES HEALTH CARE COURT CASE TO BE ARGUED TUESDAY JULY 9TH BY CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL;
HEALTH COVERAGE OF MILLIONS & ACA PATIENT PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AT RISK
- Tomorrow, Tuesday July 9th, California AG Xavier Becerra will lead oral arguments that seek to overturn the decision by Texas Judge O Connor, which would strike down the ACA and imperil the health coverage of tens of millions of Americans, at least 5 million in California alone.
- If the Texas case is upheld, this decision will undo all of the ACA’s pre-existing condition protections, as well as eliminate Covered California premium subsidies, expanded Medi-Cal, preventive services, and much more. California’s health system would lose over $25 billion for our health system–which is more than CA spends on higher education and prisons combined.
SACRAMENTO, CA — On Tuesday, July 9th at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s team will represent 20 states to seek to overturn a December 2018 ruling by District Court Judge Reed O’Conner in Texas vs. United States that strikes the entirety of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and would take away coverage from millions of Californians and Americans, and consumer protections from millions more.
The oral arguments will explore the standing of the states that have brought this lawsuit, as well as those, like California, that have sought to defend the law after the Department of Justice has taken the unprecedented step in declining to do so. The arguments will also examine the supposed unconstitutionality of the individual mandate in the law and its inseparability from the ACA as a whole.
“If not overturned, this high stakes health care court decision would be catastrophic, undoing the coverage and consumer protections for millions in California and nationwide. Now backed by the Trump Administration, the lower court judge’s decision would not just strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but rollback the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including undoing coverage and affordability assistance for tens of millions of Americans and five million in California alone,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. “Even though the legal arguments are ridiculous, it’s terrifying that there’s a non-zero chance this case could cut off coverage and care to millions, and causing chaos for the system we all rely on. Gone would be Medi-Cal coverage for four million Californians, Covered California subsidies for another million, key patient protections for millions more.”
“California’s standing should not even be in question, given the immense impacts on our citizens and our state if this rogue judge’s ruling were allowed to strike down all the benefits, funding, and protections of the ACA. California has the most to lose from this legal attack on the ACA by President Trump and Republican Attorneys General. California saw the largest drop in the uninsured rate of all 50 states since 2013 and the implementation of the ACA, after having one of the highest rates in the nation. The Texas judge, with President Trump’s Justice Department’s support, not only seeks to eliminate coverage for millions across the country but would also defund California’s health system by over $25 billion/year which is more than what the state spends on all of higher education, and all of prisons, combined. While California has done a lot to counter the federal government’s sabotage of our health system, the lower court’s ruling would be too overwhelming to overcome with just state action. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is appropriately taking the lead to protect our progress here in California, and the coverage and consumer protections for millions across the country.”
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