California Attorney General's Office

04/02/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/02/2019 15:52

Bipartisan Scholars, Economists, Public Health Experts, Hospital and Provider Associations, Patient Groups, Counties, Cities and More Support Coalition of 21 Attorneys General[...]

SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that a diverse group of bipartisan scholars, economists, and legal experts as well as public health experts, hospital and provider associations, patient groups, counties, cities, and others filed amicus briefs in Texas et al. v. United States et al. The diverse coalition of amicus briefs supports California's state coalition in its fight to reverse a district court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act.

'For the past nine years, millions of Americans have relied on the Affordable Care Act for their everyday medical needs - from accessing prescription drugs to visiting a doctor. We cannot and, unlike others, will not turn our backs on them,' said Attorney General Becerra. 'Before the ACA, 133 million Americans faced barriers to coverage because of a pre-existing condition like diabetes or pregnancy - yes, pregnancy. Knowing this, President Trump insists on abandoning these Americans and their coverage. Our coalition refuses to normalize this dangerous behavior. We will be in court defending Americans' healthcare that President Trump seeks to strip from them.'

If affirmed, the district court's decision would affect nearly every American, including:

  • 133 million Americans, including 17 million kids, with pre-existing health conditions.
  • Young adults under 26 years of age, who are covered under a parent's health plan.
  • More than 12 million Americans who received coverage through Medicaid expansion.
  • 12 million seniors who receive a Medicare benefit to afford prescription drugs.
  • Working families who rely on tax credits and employer-sponsored plans to afford insurance.

On March 25, 2019, Attorney General Becerra and a coalition of attorneys general filed their opening brief in this case. In their brief, the Attorneys General argue that the plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the individual mandate provision because the individual plaintiffs are not injured by a provision that now offers a lawful choice between buying insurance and paying a zero-dollar tax. The Attorneys General further argue that the state plaintiffs also lack standing because there is no evidence that the amended provision will require them to spend more money. Lastly, the District Court wrongly concluded that the individual mandate provision was unconstitutional, and even if it were, there would be no legal basis for also declaring the rest of the ACA invalid-including its provisions expanding Medicaid, reforming Medicare, and providing protections to individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

Amicus briefs in support were filed by: American Medical Association, et al., AARP et al., Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, federally recognized tribes, counties and cities, First Focus & Children's Partnership, Alliance for Community Health Plans, American Hospital Association, et al., American Cancer Society, et al., Small Business Majority Foundation, National Women's Law Center, et al., Families USA, et al., bipartisan economic scholars, state hospital associations, disability rights groups, HCA Healthcare Inc., the States of Ohio and Montana, and more.

The briefs are attached to the electronic version of this release oag.ca.gov/news.