California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has announced that a diverse group of patient groups, legal experts, economists, medical associations, and public health experts, filed amicus briefs in Texas et al. v. United States et al. supporting California’s opposition to Texas and 19 other states’ motion seeking to halt the operation of the Affordable Care Act nationwide.
The Texas-led lawsuit would end the ACA, threatening healthcare coverage for 20 million Americans – including nearly five million in California – and divert billions of dollars in funding for critical healthcare programs and services nationwide. Terminating the ACA would also strip 133 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions of the legal protection against discriminatory cancellation or denial of their health insurance.
“The Commander in Chief of the United States has gone AWOL in his duty to protect Americans’ healthcare. Since the Trump Administration refuses to defend the ACA, a coalition of states led by California has stepped up to protect the millions of Americans whose healthcare is at risk due to this reckless lawsuit,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our coalition of states and partners across the country will vigorously fight against those who try to dismantle our healthcare system.”
On February 28, 2018, Texas filed the lawsuit to dismantle the ACA in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, and was joined by 19 other states. On April 9, 2018, Attorney General Becerra and the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota by and through its Department of Commerce, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, sought to intervene in the federal lawsuit to vigorously defend the ACA and the millions of families across the country who rely on it for affordable care.
The motion to intervene was granted on May 16, 2018, and Attorney General Becerra’s coalition filed its opposition to Texas’ motion for a preliminary injunction on June 7, 2018. Texas’ requested preliminary injunction would harm millions of Americans by taking away vital healthcare services and stripping funding from our nation’s public health system, including funding for work to combat the opioid epidemic.
On June 7, 2018, the federal government submitted a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan stating that it will not defend the constitutionality of the ACA, including provisions that prevent insurers from denying coverage or charging individuals more because of preexisting conditions, further proving the importance of the intervening states’ participation in the case. If this lawsuit is successful and the ACA is terminated, not only would the state of California lose over $160 billion in healthcare funding, but Americans living in the states that successfully intervened to defend the ACA could lose half a trillion dollars in health care funding.
Amicus briefs in support of the opposition to Texas’ preliminary injunction were filed by: American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, America’s Health Insurance Plans, AARP and AARP Foundation, Families USA, and collectively, the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Association of American Medical Colleges and more.
April 9, 2018: Attorney General Becerra led a coalition of 17 Attorneys General in filing a motion to intervene to defend the ACA in Texas et al v. United States et al, a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Texas that seeks to dismantle the ACA.
April 27, 2018: California’s coalition requested an expedited ruling on their motion to intervene in response to Texas’s motion for preliminary injunction (a court request that, if granted, could lead to immediate repeal of ACA while litigation is ongoing).
May 16, 2018: Attorney General Becerra’s coalition secured the right to intervene in Texas et al. v. United States et al. This allowed California’s coalition to become a defendant in the case and mount a robust legal defense of the ACA.
June 7, 2018: California Attorney General Becerra led a coalition of 17 Attorneys General in filing opposition to Texas’ motion for the preliminary injunction.
June 7, 2018: The federal government submitted a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, stating that it will not defend the constitutionality of the ACA. Shortly after, the federal government filed its brief asserting that the ACA was unconstitutional.
June 14, 2018: A diverse coalition of patient groups, medical associations, public health experts, economists, legal experts and more, submit amicus briefs to the court in support of the California-led coalition’s legal case.
July 9, 2018: The State of Texas and its coalition must respond to California’s opposition to their request to halt the Affordable Care Act during litigation.
The Judge in the case will review the briefs and determine whether or not a hearing is needed in this case.
The California-led collation of 17 Attorneys General continues to explore all possible actions to defend the Affordable Care Act.